Hallway Headlines: February 2022

Nathan Yuan, News Editor

Book about Holocaust removed from 8th grade curriculum

McMinn County, Tenn. — A Tennessee school board unanimously voted to remove the Pulitzer winning book “Maus,” a Holocaust graphic novel, from its curriculum, prompting backlash. 

“[The decision is] not good for their children, even if they think it is,” author Art Spiegleman told NPR and WBUR’s Here and Now.

The decision was made because of eight curse words and nude imagery of a woman, depicting the author’s mother’s suicide. Board members also said they did not object to teaching the Holocaust, but were concerned the book wasn’t appropriate for the school setting.

“We can tell them exactly what happened, but we don’t need all the nakedness and all the other stuff,” said board member Mike Cochran.

Spiegelman told CNN the image in question was a “tiny image” that depicted his mother being found in a bathtub after she cut her wrists.”

Law dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” Bill advances in legislature.

Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, is advancing through the state’s legislature. The law would restrict discussions about sexuality and gender in the classroom, which supporters say will empower parents to have input into what their children are learning.

However, critics like the group Equality Florida, which advocates for ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said the bill is “dangerous” and say the bill is being used by conservative leaders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to build political power by “targeting and demonizing LGBTQ people.”

“This legislation is meant to stigmatize LGBTQ people, isolate LGBTQ kids, and make teachers fearful of providing a safe, inclusive classroom,” the group said in a statement. “The existence of LGBTQ students and parents is not a taboo topic that has to be regulated by the Florida Legislature.

Students walk out over masks at Stevenson High School

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Dozens of Stevenson High School students walked out of classes Friday morning over a division about mask wearing in school. There was a demonstration at the entrance of campus that included students, parents and supporters.

The protest began around 8:30 a.m. Friday and involved at least 40 parents and 50 students protesting on campus at Route 22 and Stevenson Drive in Lincolnshire.

Videos of a small plane flying over campus with a banner calling on districts to “unmask our kids” also circulated on social media. 

Gregory Abshire was one of the students who walked out.

“We are walking out today to, not prove that masks are right or wrong, but it’s about the power of choice,” Abshire told ABC 7 Chicago. “Everyone should have the choice whether or not they want to protect themselves and the school shouldn’t be forcing this on us.”

On the other hand, student Jake Shapiro plans to leave his mask on.

“It’s fine,” Shapiro told ABC 7 Chicago. “We still get along and everything. You know it’s all good.”

SOURCES: NPR, CNN, Equality Florida, ABC 7 Chicago and Fox 32 Chicago