Anne Frank comic banned in Florida schools after mums rage over ‘sexually explicit’ statues

Anne Frank graphic novel

A high school in Florida has banned an Anne Frank graphic novel as it was deemed “not appropriate” for students because it features “nude statues”. 

The book, Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, was removed from Vero Beach High School library this week after a parent group, Indian River County chapter of Moms For Liberty, expressed concerns about it in March.

According to WPTV, the graphic adaptation was taken off library shelves after it was determined that some of its text didn’t contribute to themes of Holocaust education. 

Jennifer Pippin, who chairs the group, insisted that the “true history” of the Holocaust and Anne Frank’s diary needs to be taught, but argued that in a “graphic scene” in the novel, Frank asks a friend to expose themselves.

Pippin, who said her group has around 250 titles they plan to challenge in the future, claims that another scene of Frank walking past nude statues is “sexually explicit”.

‘Don’t be a Nazi. They never win”

The group has since been condemned for initiating the book ban, with one person emailing them to write: “Don’t be a Nazi. They never win.” 

You may like to watch

An email posted to the Moms for Liberty page. (Facebook/screenshot by PinkNews)

In another email opposing the ban, posted on the group’s Facebook, a disgruntled Mark Lockington wrote: “Stop being such an idiot.”

Another, Rita Delong, emailed the group to ask “do you have nothing else to do with your time but be an antisemitic, racist book banner?”

In response to the backlash, the group took to Facebook to argue that the novel had been removed for “minimisation of the Holocaust”. 

“There are multiple versions for age appropriateness and multiple versions of the diary itself. Only this one version of the Diary of Anne Frank was removed,” it wrote.

“It is not an entirely accurate portrayal of the tragedy of the Holocaust and murders against the Jewish population because of hate.” 

Director of academic compliance and equity for the district, Dr Kyra Schafte, confirmed the original Diary of Anne Frank remains in school libraries. 

Indian River County saw a newly formed ‘District Objection Committee’ meet for the first time this week. Going forward, the nine-person committee will meet if there are formal challenges for books to be removed district-wide. 

Celebrated diarist Anne Frank was a German-born Jewish girl who documented her life in hiding under Nazi persecution in 1942. She was later discovered and in 1945, died in a the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. 

100-year-old compares book bans to Nazi dictatorship

The ban of Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation comes amid a torrent of book bans across the US. 

Thanks to a report by PEN America, we know that 2,532 instances of individual book bans took place across the US between July 2021 and July 2022, with Maia Kobabe’s memoir Gender Queer, about growing up as non-binary and asexual, is reported as the most-banned book. 

In March 2023, a 100-year-old grandmother denounced Florida’s book bans and compared them to the actions of the Nazis in 1930s and 40s Germany.

At a meeting held at the Martin County School Board to discuss the return of at least 80 titles following their removal from public libraries, grandmother Grace Linn said: “One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the freedom to read the books that they banned. 

“They stopped the free press, banned and burned books. The freedom to read, which is protected by the first amendment, is our essential right and duty of our democracy, even so it is continually under attack by both the public and private groups, who think they hold the truth.” 

Several libraries in the US have been targeted with hate for stocking LGBTQ+ books. 

PinkNews has contacted Vero Beach High School library and the Indian River County chapter of Moms For Liberty. 

Please login or register to comment on this story.