An illustrated version of Anne Frank’s diary, crafted by Ari Folman with art by David Polonsky, has led to a Texas middle school teacher’s dismissal. The teacher introduced the visual representation of Anne Frank’s experiences during Nazi-occupied Amsterdam to her eighth-grade students.
Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District, in a communication to parents, expressed concerns over the unapproved graphic representation of the diary and assured them that its use would be discontinued immediately. The teacher, after being reprimanded, was eventually terminated.
The district, in a message to the parents, stated, “A substitute teacher has been leading the class post concerns regarding curricular choices in your child’s reading segment. Efforts are underway to hire a full-time educator expeditiously.“
Mike Canizales, spokesperson for the district, emphasized the priority of ensuring consistency in instruction during this transitional phase. He acknowledged parents’ trust and emphasized the district’s commitment to preserving an educational environment’s sanctity.
The Guardian reported that certain sections of the illustrated book, which touch upon Anne Frank’s observations and curiosities about her body, drew contention. This included a passage where Frank mentions her genitals and displays interest in a friend’s chest.
The controversy surrounding the illustrated version isn’t new. A Florida high school prohibited its use after objections from a group named Moms for Liberty, which highlighted sexually suggestive content in the translated diary. Similar bans were implemented in other Texas schools, including one in Dallas.
Anne Frank, born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, took refuge in the Netherlands in 1942 to escape the Nazis. She tragically lost her life in a concentration camp in 1945.