Anne Frank's diary, published under the title of The Diary of a Young Girl, has been a fixture in U.S. middle school curriculum for years, but one Northville, Michigan mother is looking to change that because - brace yourself - she believes the book is "pornographic."
"The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents," the woman, Gail Horalek, told the Northville Patch. "If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip."
The passage she believes to be damning to the book is one featured in only the unedited version - it features Frank discussing the "discovery of her own genitalia" at length. The passage, in full:
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.
Horalek claims that her young daughter approached her and said she was "uncomfortable" with the "graphic" nature of the passages. "It doesn’t mean my child is sheltered, it doesn’t mean I live in a bubble, and it doesn’t mean I'm trying to ban books," Horalek went on to explain.
Horalek is urging the school to switch back to the edited version of the book. Northville Schools' Assistant Superintendent Robert Behnke responded to Horalek's request via e-mail, stating that "a committee consisting of parents, teachers, media specialists, and administrators will be assembled to review the concerns expressed."
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