On Jan 10 the McMinn County school board in Tennessee voted 10–0 to remove Maus, a Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from the eighth grade curriculum. Literally every person in the room.
~ ACTION BELOW ~
There are seven elementary schools (K–8th) in McMinn County. I don't know how many 8th graders are in each school, but let's just imagine 40 eighth graders x 7 schools, that's potentially 280 kids who will become adults and will have missed this opportunity to engage with history in a way that gets kids curious and excited! They didn't ban this book becuase it contained "inappropriate curse words and a depiction of a naked character," or "rough, objectionable language," — they banned it because it's interesting and depicts truth in a format that kids are going to remember, and GAHHHHHH maybe want to learn more about. OH NO. FIRE!
—> ACTION: Let's donate copies of Maus I and Maus II to McMinn County public libraries. Both books are currently out of stock in many places, but it looks like Amazon has some. If you can find them to ship from smaller or local shops, great, but let's just flood the libraries. Listed below, mailing addresses for the five libraries in McMinn County. Might be good to mark the package with the library director's name and DONATION. Amazon requires a phone number, so those are listed below too. (If you want to let me know which book you donated to which library, I will make updates below so we can spread out the donations – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org )
Calhoun Public Library
ATTN Mary Tickel (Director) – DONATION
P. O. Box 115
Calhoun TN 37309
Phone # (423) 336-2348
E. G. Fisher Public Library
ATTN Peyton Eastman (Director) – DONATION
1289 Ingleside Avenue
Athens TN 37303
Phone # (423) 745-7782
Englewood Public Library
ATTN Tina Web (Director) – DONATION
P. O. Box 150
Englewood TN 37329
Phone # (423) 887-7152
Etowah Carnegie Public Library
ATTN Trish Mobley (Director) – DONATION
723 Ohio Avenue
Etowah TN 37331
Phone # (423) 263-9475
Ocoee River Regional Library
ATTN Liz Schreck (Director) – DONATION
718 George Street, N. W.
Athens TN 37303
Fax #: (423) 649-1501
From The New York Times
A school board in Tennessee voted unanimously this month to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from being taught in its classrooms because the book contains material that board members said was inappropriate for students.
Art Spiegelman, the author of “Maus,” said he was baffled by the decision. “This is disturbing imagery,” he said in an interview on Thursday, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day. “But you know what? It’s disturbing history.”
After reading the minutes of the meeting, Mr. Spiegelman said he got the impression that the board members were asking, “Why can’t they teach a nicer Holocaust?”