The Middle Ages is still with us, folks.
Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank's diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, after a parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes.
Some of the extra passages detail her emerging sexual desires; others include unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together.
The school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints about instructional materials, Allen said.
Culpeper's policy on "public complaints about learning resources" calls for complaints to be submitted in writing and for a review committee to research the materials and deliberate, Allen said. In this case, the policy was not followed. Allen said the parent registered the complaint orally, no review committee was created and a decision was made quickly by at least one school administrator. He said he is uncertain about the details because he was out of town.
I read both editions.
The fantastic unexpurgated version has a great deal on Anne's thoughts and relationships with the others, as well as a passage or so on her thoughts on female anatomy, sex and giving birth.
Her thoughts on the others are massive and run throughout the book.
Otto Frank had originally excluded those passages. One main concern of his was that relatives of the people she spoke of may get offended by passages where Anne writes why she didn't think well of someone or other.
The restored version reads more smoothly and is much more realistic and what I would believe much more representive of a young woman's deepest thoughts. The first version reads more like what it would be like if Pollyanna had experienced and written it.
And Mr. Allen says they went against school policy in removing it -- just took one phone call. Maybe they made it up and just wanted it out themselves.
The state of Virginia ought to have as its slogan, "Where your child's mind is protected from reality for an extra ten years."