Tennessee school board bans graphic novel “Maus”

Art Spiegleman’s graphic novel “Maus” was officially banned from the McMinn school district in Tennessee on Jan. 10th after a vote by the district’s school board. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was targeted for review because of concerns about profanity and female nudity.

The book is about Spiegleman’s Jewish parent’s experience in Nazi concentration camps, and the mass murders they witnessed. The book also includes his mother’s suicide when he was  only 20 years old, and his affected relationship with his dad. 

Some parents and faculty believed it was unnecessary to be taught in the classroom. When the book was officially banned in January, authors including Spiegleman thought of the McMinn school board to be destructive and unreasonable. “I am kind of baffled by this,” Spiegleman said in an interview with CNBC.

Mt. Juliet Pastor Greg Locke, heard about the banning and decided to organize an old-fashioned book burning. “We are well aware of what we are stepping into. Bring it all. Stop allowing demonic influences into your home,” Locke stated in a Facebook post which has since then been removed. 

The book burning included books such as Art Spiegleman’s “Maus” along with other staples such as “Harry Potter” and “Twilight”, which were often targeted in religious-based book bannings. This conflict also caused other school boards to consider their choice of books advertised in the curriculum and libraries.