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This Tennessee school board banned the teaching of a popular Holocaust graphic novel

The Holocaust graphic novel ‘Maus’ won’t be taught in certain Tennessee schools

SHARE This Tennessee school board banned the teaching of a popular Holocaust graphic novel
Artist and author Art Spiegelman at the Book Expo America convention.

Artist and author Art Spiegelman gets some help with his lunch from Francoise Mouly, of Random House Inc., during a signing of Spiegelman’s new book “In the Shadow of No Towers” at the Book Expo America convention on Saturday, June 5, 2004, in Chicago.

Brian Kersey, Associated Press

A school board in Tennessee banned the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus” from its curriculum.

The news: The McMinn County School Board voted Jan. 10 to ban the book “due to concerns about profanity and an image of female nudity in its depiction of Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust,” CNBC reports.

  • The measure passed on a 10-0 vote.
  • “I’ve read it and read through all of it. … I liked it,” said Mike Cochran, a board member who voted to ban the book, according to The Washington Post.
  • Cochran said the subject was important but “there were other parts that were completely unnecessary. He said that includes when a father talks to his son about losing his virginity and when a woman cuts herself with a blade.

Why it matters: The ban happened amid a number of school system battles around the country. Conservatives have targeted curriculums and how to talk about slavery and racism in school.

Details: The graphic novel — “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” by Art Spiegelman  — shows how the author’s parents survived Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

  • Spiegelman’s parents were Jews from Poland who were sent to a concentration camp during World War II, according to BBC News.
  • “Maus” tells the story of his parents. The graphic novel won a number of literary awards in 1992.

Reaction: “I’m kind of baffled by this,” Spiegelman told CNBC. “It’s leaving me with my jaw open, like, ‘What?’”