The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund reports that critically acclaimed comic book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, has been removed from a high school library in New Jersey, without going through the necessary procedures.
The removal happened after another challenge to the same comic at a school in Watchung, New Jersey, which the CBLDF fought against, supporting that administration. Fun Home is part of the school's senior curriculum and joined it ten years ago as part of a deliberate attempt to improve the diversity of texts studied, after student concerns regarding a lack of diversity in the school texts provided.
The CBLDF notes that procedures, including a written complaint, committee meetings, and a decision taken whether or not the book breaches curriculum guidelines were ignored. Indeed the rules state explicitly that this sort of thing can't happen unless the Board of Education so decides.
Fun Home, a graphic memoir about Bechdel growing up in her family's funeral business, as well as coming out as a lesbian, has won many awards but is one of the most challenged books in American public and school libraries. And the CBLDF continues to defend its presence in such.
But it's not alone. Another comic book, best-selling manga Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui was pulled from Staten Island's Markham Intermediate School library, after complaints from a student's mother.
SILive reports 'citing recent school shootings, she explained that she is worried that the books could be available in other schools. She added that they contain sensitive content and profanities.'
However Assassination Classroom is not about school shootings, rather it's about an evil alien who poses as a school teacher. They quote a spokesperson for the Department of Education saying 'We have policies in place to ensure that our school libraries stock high-quality, age-appropriate books. I.S. 51 leadership met with this parent after she raised her concern, and decided to remove the book from the library.'
The CBLDF points out, again, that guidelines for removing such works do not appear to have been followed.