Mar 19 2013
The controversy over the Chicago Public Schools restricting access to Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of her youth in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, continues to roil the nation’s third largest school district, as free speech advocates weigh in.
Persepolis (which tells the story of her life from ages 10 - 22 in cartoon format) previously was recommended by Chicago Public Schools for use in 7th grade classes as well as for 11th grade. While the book will continue to be available to 11th and 12th grade students, as well as Advanced Placement classes, it is no longer available to 7th-10th graders until guidelines for teachers wanting to teach Persepolis are set in place.
A letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship and five other organizations states, "While we are relieved that the book will remain available to older students, the restriction on access to junior high students is extremely troubling. The explanation that the book is 'inappropriate for this age group' is unpersuasive. The vast majority of Chicago middle school students are surely aware of violence and its devastating effects on people of all ages. Most have witnessed it on the news, if not in their own neighborhoods."
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