UPDATE: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has responded to reports that Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis has been banned from Lane Tech College Prep and other Chicago-area schools. Byrd-Bennett stated that the book is not appropriate for seventh graders — an age group in whose curriculum CPS previously included the book — because of graphic language and images. Byrd-Bennett sent an email to Chicago-area principals asking them to remove the book from seventh grade classrooms. “We are not requesting that you remove ‘Persepolis’ from your central school library,” Byrd-Bennett declared in her statement. A letter has been sent to principals, telling them to disregard the previous notice to pull the book, but it remains under review for use in grades 8 – 10. (Sources: The Chicago Tribune, DNAinfo.com)
According to DNAinfo.com, Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed and award-winning autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis has been removed from shelves and classrooms in Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep. Confusion over the removal abounds, and a protest against the ban is planned for 3:30 CDT today outside the school. CBLDF is actively investigating the matter.
According to DNAinfo’s coverage, Lane Tech principal Christopher Dignam was directed to remove the book from the school by the Chicago Public Schools officials, but Dignam was not given a reason for the removal. Reports indicate that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that he would look into the ban. The Chicago Teachers Union has issued a statement in support of the book, which previously had been recommended reading in the Chicago public school district, a recommendation that came from CPS itself. Thus far, CPS has refused to comment on the removal.
You can read the coverage from DNAinfo here. The details about the ban are hazy, and CBLDF will be following the story closely. Look here for updates as they become available.