Persepolis is Satrapi’s graphic memoir about growing up in Iran and Austria during the Islamic Revolution. The book has won various honors since its release in two parts in 2000 and 2004, including multiple prizes at the Angoulême Festival in 2000, 2004, and 2005. Since its publication, it has been the subject of multiple challenges and bans, ranking #2 on the American Library Association’s list of Most Challenged Books for 2014 and #40 on the ALA’s list of Most Challenged Books from 2010 to 2019. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has used the book as a case study in censorship.
During a regular review last year, the Franklin Regional School District’s curriculum committee approved the teaching of Persepolis; a public review of the approved curriculum earlier this year prompted the complaints from parents, and a school board meeting last week included public debate about the book’s teaching. Several parents’ arguments for the book challenge are the following:
Carla Williamson of Murrysville said she had read “Persepolis” and supported its removal from the curriculum.
“I was dismayed by the scenes of violence and torture,” Williamson said, before quoting a passage that included the F-word.
“Please excuse my foul language,” she said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate here, and I don’t think it’s appropriate in the classroom.”
Williamson said she believes the book “pushes a liberal ideology that does not belong in our school.”
Gretchen McGee of Murrysville said the covid-19 pandemic has brought parents into much closer contact with their children’s school curriculum, and that “there are underlying themes to a lot of what our children are being taught.”
McGee used examples from one of children’s school workbooks that explores a Black student who encounters racism from a white teacher, as well as a passage about a Chinese boy who is asked to disavow his father’s belief in communism.
“There is a lot that doesn’t align with what we are teaching our children at home,” McGee said.
The controversy over Persepolis in the Franklin Region will continue, as the curriculum committee of the school district must now submit a recommendation to the school board on whether or not to teach the novel. There’s no information on when that may happen.
The following article is paraphrased from the following: Pennsylvania school district pulls Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS from curriculum, Joe Grunenwald, 03/23/2022 4:00 pm, https://www.comicsbeat.com/persepolis-marjane-satrapi-pulled-from-curriculum/?amp