Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chicago Public Schools flips Blooms and models Iranian government censorship


Nice job of engagement by Chicago Public Schools. 

In an effort to connect more with their conservative roots, the city of Chicago has decided that Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis should be removed from all 7th-10th grade classrooms.  If you have every read Persepolis you’ll find this story a tad bit ironic as the story is about a young Iranian girl’s journey through the Islamic Revolution and the modern Iranian state.  It’s a fantastic graphic novel that would be an excellent addition to any study on Iran. 

By the way, the ban was actually district-wide and at all levels at one point.


  Nice to see that Chicago Public Schools is making sure something as vile as The Anarchists’ Cookbook Persepolis isn’t corrupting the minds of our youth.  God forbid they learn about history, comparative societies, censorship, class structures, foreign nations, war, childhood, teenage rebellion, coming-of-age, and how a good story should be written. 

But wait a minute, wait a minute….Chicago Public Schools dialed back the ban and just made it 7th-10th grade, because we all know that those populations can’t handle serious conversations.  Oh, and wait another minute.  Looks like a caveat has been tacked on. 

Chicago Public Schools’ spokeswoman says books removed from classrooms this week will be returned after teachers receive training “to assist them in putting the content of this book into context for students, so they have a grade-appropriate understanding of these graphic images and language.”

That’s so polite of politicians in Chicago to not only totally undermine the conversations that the book could bring to the dinner table but to also make sure that educational professionals have total competency about presenting said materials to the youth of America.  Or to put it more bluntly…


I’m always on the band wagon for getting rid of those teachers that disgrace the profession.  I’m driving the bandwagon that demands to get rid of institutional leadership that is a disgrace to the profession.  And when the Chicago Public Schools had a chance to say “Meh, we messed up” they backed into a bigger puddle when they discredited teachers with being able to make decisions about, you know, teaching.  I wonder how Chicago students are reacting to it.   



For the record my Advanced Placement Comparative Politics students read Persepolis.   We study the Iranian government and nothing is better than a good story about Iranian society post-Revolution.  I would highly recommend that you read it as well. 

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