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Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school district amid outrage from Jewish groups 

An Anne Frank novel previously considered “too graphic” for schoolchildren to read has been reinstated after a heated board meeting.

The graphic adaptation of the 2019 diary — based on the young child murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust — was taken off the shelves for its “pornographic material,” but the ban sparked strong opposition from Jewish groups in Tarrant County, Texas.

Simon Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, joined other groups to voice his opposition after the district was asked last week to remove a list of books, including the graphic novel that contained unwanted sexual references and mention of homosexuality, including details about genitalia. .

Chief Inspector Rick Westfall later called the ban a “miscommunication” and said the district “does not ban the Bible or Anne Frank’s diary, as has been suggested in some headlines and shared on social media.”

Westfall added that only the graphic version of Anne Frank’s famous diary was banned, not the original copies of the diary. He confirmed that the graphic novel will be available in schools “very soon.”

The graphical edit of Anne Frank's 2019 diary has returned to Tarrant County's Keller Independent School District after heated Jewish groups complained at a Monday board meeting

The graphical edit of Anne Frank’s 2019 diary has returned to Tarrant County’s Keller Independent School District after heated Jewish groups complained at a Monday board meeting

The graphic novel was banned after parents complained that it contained too much detail about sexuality, citing a section of the novel that contained details of genitalia.

The graphic novel was banned after parents complained that it contained too much detail about sexuality, citing a section of the novel that contained details of genitalia.

The graphic novel was banned after parents complained that it contained too much detail about sexuality, citing a section of the novel that contained details of genitalia.

A parent held up the book and began reading the novel during the board meeting.  Some parents were angry that it was removed, while others were angry that it was reinstated because of the 'sexual content'

A parent held up the book and began reading the novel during the board meeting.  Some parents were angry that it was removed, while others were angry that it was reinstated because of the 'sexual content'

A parent held up the book and began reading the novel during the board meeting. Some parents were angry that it was removed, while others were angry that it was reinstated because of the ‘sexual content’

Texas school district staff were ordered to remove 41 books after parents expressed their disapproval last year. In addition to Anne Frank’s graphic novel, there were also the Bible and Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’, Ashley Hope Pérez’ Out of Darkness’ and Maia Kobabe’s ‘Gender Queer’.

1661561372 799 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

1661561372 799 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

Chief Inspector Rick Westfall later called the ban a “miscommunication” and said the district “does not ban the Bible or Anne Frank’s diary, as has been suggested.

The motion to remove the book was soon met with opposition when a businessman from the New Jersey kosher meat supplier threatened to send copies of the novel to the school district in protest, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

“Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial take many forms,” said Seth Leavitt. “Deleting a book that tells the true story of a Jewish girl murdered by Nazis is one of them.

Another parent of Keller expressed her opposition and threatened to send another 100 copies of the book. Laney Hawes told the school board that according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, she would have enough copies of the diary for every school library.

“Before, there were only a handful of copies of the books in our school district,” Hawes said. “Now we hope to have them in every high, middle and high school library.”

I’m sending these books so the people of Keller, Texas can read her story. We cannot erase history.’

The school board passed new guidelines for the books on Monday, but some parents and educators were dissatisfied with the “unacceptable” material that will be available to students about sexual assault.

A horrified parent was horrified to see school officials undo the book and read part of the Anne Frank graphic novel at the meeting where her genitals were discussed in detail.

Still, the school district insisted they would not block the Anne Frank novel and was angry at the controversy.

“For the record, Keller ISD does not ban the Bible or Anne Frank,” said school board chairman Charles Randklev, insisting that the motion to remove the graphic novel was “to protect our children from pornographic material.”

The Keller school district is in a politically divided area of ​​conservatives and liberals. Joe Biden won the county by fewer than 2,000 votes in the 2020 election, according to The Washington Post.

Some parents tried to remove the books in a conservative effort to unite the districts in their faith and to remove “pornographic images” from books.

IMAGE: Keller ISD - the district that banned the graphic novel along with other books because parents complained about its content

IMAGE: Keller ISD - the district that banned the graphic novel along with other books because parents complained about its content

IMAGE: Keller ISD – the district that banned the graphic novel along with other books because parents complained about its content

1661561374 987 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

1661561374 987 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

1661561375 695 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

1661561375 695 Anne Frank graphic novel to be reinstated in Texas school

The list of books was sent on August 16, a day before the school district was due to start its 2022-23 school year

Banned books within the public school system have been a controversial topic that has expanded in the past year, according to a report by Pen America.

From July 2020 to March 2020, more than 1,500 books have been banned in 86 school districts. The report reflects districts in 26 states with more than two million students.

These books usually contain information about the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and sexual content. However, Pen America states that removing these books removes “first amendment rights from students in public schools.”

In Texas, a lawmaker sent a letter to school districts warning about 850 books to investigate. The state has carried out a mass removal of more than 500 books.

A list of 41 books (pictured) sent to principals and librarians for disposal in the Keller Independent School District in North Texas

A list of 41 books (pictured) sent to principals and librarians for disposal in the Keller Independent School District in North Texas

A list of 41 books (pictured) sent to principals and librarians for disposal in the Keller Independent School District in North Texas

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