School reading lists are created with the purpose of both exciting kids to read while teaching them to appreciate historical literature. As FOX Detroit reports, one Michigan mom is fighting back against her daughter’s school’s idea of literary exposure, claiming that her daughter felt “uncomfortable” reading the “graphic passages” in the unedited version of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
In her defense, the passage does get a bit hairy (pun totally intended) talking about the time Anne discovered the specifics of her vagina. Read it below:
Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn't realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn't see them. What's even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you're standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you're standing, so you can't see what's inside. They separate when you sit down and they're very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there's a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That's the clitoris.
I’m just gonna go ahead and rant for a sec, because I definitely don’t think this is as horrifying as the mother makes it seem. Yes, I get that this girl is in seventh grade and she’s young and all, but I suppose I would find it more horrifying if this was a boy claiming to feel “uncomfortable.” That just makes more sense to me, since he would have absolutely no idea what to do with this very graphic information. A girl at this age, however, should just be discovering her body and experiencing feminine changes, so why wouldn’t it be okay for my future daughter to read this passage around that time? I would love to strike up a conversation about her you-know-what and explain what those strange terms like labia and clitoris mean. As odd as this may sound to some, this conversation with my mother was a huge bonding opportunity, and if this book is the catalyst for it, then I think it’s great!
I really think that this topic is only as horrible as the parents make it, and yes, I believe there should be some hesitation to introduce this kind of in-your-face literature until a certain age or maturity level, but at the time when most girls have begun or are about to begin their period, this would seem to be the perfect time.
Okay, end rant.
While the mother admits that she thought it was “awesome” that her daughter had decided to do a school project on the book, she now regrets her enthusiasm and demands that the school revert to exposing children to the edited version of the book, which excludes excepts like the one above.
Northville Schools' Assistant Superintendent Robert Behnke responded to the mother written complain as follows:
Thank you for contacting me regarding a concern that was raised with you relative to the use of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, a book used within the seventh grade English Language Arts Curriculum. Northville Public Schools uses an established process to review concerns brought forth related to instructional materials used within our schools. Parents are considered partners in their children's learning and when concerns surface they are encouraged to communicate with the classroom teacher and building principal to resolve those issues. If the parent is not satisfied with the response at the building level, a committee consisting of parents, teachers, media specialists, and administrators will be assembled to review the concerns expressed by the parent using the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Materials Procedure.
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Sources: FOX Detroit
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