There was an awful amount of fuss when a Tunisian TV station broadcast the movie version of Persepolis. But that may have been expected. The film was also banned in Lebanon, but that ruling was reversed after an outcry in its favour.
What was less expected is to find a similar attitude in Chicago’s schools. Website CPS Chatter that provides a forum for those concerned about Chicago schools has posted an e-mail from the Principal of Lane Tech College Prep High School to staff members, stating that he had received a visit from the Network Instructional Support Leaders to ensure the school had no copies of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis in the library, that none were on loan, to make sure it wasn’t being used in any classes, and if they had copies anywhere, to withdraw them all. No reason was given.
It is unknown if any other schools were visited with similar instructions.
Retired teacher, Fred Klonsky, posted a comment from another teacher, poiinting out that this kind of request was against the law.
Persepolis is an autobiographical comic about a young Iranian woman rebelling against the country’s revolution. Both the comic and the subsequent movie have received critical acclaim, though there have been one or two controversial moments in its history.
In 2009, parents of the Northshore School District tried to get both the comic and the film banned in those schools though the board rejected these calls and stated that the book and film could be taught in class.
The Chicago decision has yet to be explained. Though just wait until they come across Neonomicon, from a local publisher…
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