Protests Spark After Tennessee School Bans Novel ‘Maus’

Written by Miriam Frankel ||


Earlier this month, The McMinn County School Board made the unanimous decision to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel, on the horrors of the holocaust. Their choice is allegedly based on the “inappropriate language” and illustration of a nude woman found in the book. This reasoning is nothing but a euphemism, covering the truth. That McMinn County School board has taken a silent stance supporting the erasure and censorship of the holocaust from curriculums. This action will increase bias against Jewish community members and increase ignorance of the holocaust.


This harmful censorship is nothing new, as conservative officials in the US have continued to increase the limit of books and educational materials children can learn from. Similar bans include books on LGBTQIA+, religious, and slave trade history. These books are not inappropriate. Instead, they are essential in the United States residents’ education system and knowledge. The silencing of minorities’ experiences and history is inhumane and discriminatory.


Their reasoning for the ban, as previously stated, was faulty. The woman seen in the “nude” is drawn as a mouse, so the book hadn’t even portrayed any human nudity. Simply put, this band was an antisemitic action under false pretenses of being beneficial to our youth. Though the discussion of genocide and the holocaust is uncomfortable, it is necessary. Ignorance is not bliss, and censoring our history and education will cause people to believe that the actions were okay and, in turn, increase and continue to maintain the heightened levels of antisemitism and antisemitic incidents in our country. Not only does this book educate students on what occurred, but it also is a vital aspect in a student’s development of knowledge surrounding history.


If you would like to aid in my movement against this ban, please contact the Mcminn County School Board at the number provided below. The goal is to elaborate on why their ban is harmful to the community and youth and why having the book as part of the curriculum is beneficial and a necessity. Sharing this article with friends and family is another way to aid the movement. If you have any questions on the topic of antisemitism or this specific protest, please feel free to reach out to me through my email frankelmm@acad.sunybroome.edu.


McMinn County School Board: (423) 745-1612

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