ASSIGNMENT OF ANNE FRANK’S DIARY IS ALL IT TAKES TO GET AN 8TH GRADE TEACHER FIRED IN TEXAS
Education should always be a priority for any kind of open society, especially the kind that supposedly operates within a democracy. But how things should be taught can muddy the water of what is prioritized. And that muddy water often becomes a whirlpool sucking in any kind of logic about what should be taught as well, or when. But if when is a question, especially when asked by concerned parents, never all too often seems to be the answer. And that very dynamic is what brings us the news of a Texas 8th Grade teacher who has been fired for making Anne Frank’s diary an assignment.
ANNE FRANK’S DIARY IS HISTORIC LITERATURE, AND SHE WROTE IT WHEN SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN 8TH GRADE
So where in the ginormous Texas did this happen? The Hamshire-Fannett ISD, a public school district within Jefferson County. And was this teacher new and clueless? Why not at all. She had served as a substitute teacher for quite some time, and knew her way around a blackboard and grade book. But she also knew the value of historic literature, such as Anne Frank’s Diary, which said author wrote when she was only 13 years old. Not coincidentally, that’s about the exact age as most kids you will find in an 8th Grade classroom anywhere in America.
IT’S LIKELY THE PASSAGE IN THE DIARY TALKING ABOUT MALE AND FEMALE ANATOMY THAT WAS THE PROBLEM
Sure, it was the graphic novel version of Anne Frank’s Diary. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s even more of a hook to grab the attentions of 8th Graders to read (and think about) the diary of an historic icon who wrote the piece when she was the same age as them. So what, exactly, about this book was so not appropriate that it got this Texas teacher fired? We’re not sure, but it’s likely to do with the reading of the section of Frank’s understanding of both male and female anatomy. Well, gee, while I understand that social conservatives have an issue with their kids growing up, I can better see the wisdom of educating them about everyone’s anatomic reality.
I mean, really, it’s not like 13-year-olds are suddenly dealing with major hormones or anything, cooped up together 5 days a week.