Texas Teacher Quickly Fired After Reading Anne Frank Novel

A Texas teacher faced backlash after reading sexual content from a graphic novel interpretation of Anne Frank’s diary.

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A middle school teacher in Texas got fired after reading passages from Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation aloud to her class. This rendition of Anne Frank’s diary has been under scrutiny since its release due to the sexual content mentioned throughout the novel. While all the language in the graphic adaptation came from the original diary, some parents worry the content is still too much for kids. Here’s what makes the graphic novel so controversial and how it causes teachers to get into trouble.

What Is Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation?

Anne Frank's Diary graphic novel cover by Ari Folman and David Polonsky

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation was published in 2018. Anne Frank Fonds, the organization that owns the right to Frank’s diary, approved of the rendition. What makes the graphic novel so special is that it covers a lot of material that other versions of Frank’s diary omitted. This includes Frank’s feelings of love, where the graphic novel pulls some quotes about how Frank felt romantically towards both women and men. Frank’s openness about her sexuality and the way the graphic novel takes her words causes parents and school districts to get nervous about hosting this rendition of the diary.

The Anne Frank Fonds organization has expressed that the novel is suitable for children and the book is marketed that way.

What Happened to the Texas Teacher?

Teacher reading to kids

At Hamshire-Fannett Middle School in Texas, a teacher read aloud passages from the graphic novel to an eighth-grade class. Students were also required to independently read portions of it as assignments. The section read aloud mentioned female and male genitalia, which upset parents.

The graphic novel was on the reading list at the start of the school year. However, Hamshire-Fannett Middle School says the novel was not approved for use in the classroom despite it being on the reading list. Once the school found out the teacher was using it for assignments, she was immediately fired for reading inappropriate content in class.

Is Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation Permitted in Schools?

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation is another controversial book that will struggle to stay on school bookshelves. Many argue that while the book is a compelling rendition of the diary, it is not suitable for the young audiences that it is targeted towards due to its sexual content. Others say that it is not an accurate portrayal of Anne Frank at all due to the romantic content.

Hamshire-Fannett Middle School promised the reading of the novel would cease immediately. This is not the first time Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation has faced controversy. It was previously banned in an entire district in Florida. Florida Rep. Randy Fine even called it “Anne Frank pornography” and said that such a book was antisemitic. The portrayal of Anne Frank within the graphic novel is a controversial topic along with the fact that it’s being presented to children.

Taking book off bookshelf

Another district in Texas also temporarily removed the book after complaints from parents. Since Anne Frank’s diary has alternative formats, many argue that children should be exposed to other forms of the story instead of the graphic novel. The graphic novel may best be reserved for older audiences, although some argue this gives schools leeway in further book bans around the Holocaust.

The debate around what content should be available to younger audiences continues, and this is only the most recent example as schools struggle with book bans.

Want more on Anne Frank and her story? Check out this article!