Earlier this year, we reported on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s letter sent in defence of Alison Bechdel’s critically acclaimed comic book memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic being excluded from the English curriculum at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey.
After a campaign by the community to have it removed, the school instead voted seven to two to keep the book – but to make it one of three choices for students to pick, alongside other diverse sexuality titles We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala.
The New Jersey Echoes ~ Sentinel states that fifty people attended the meeting, and a petition with 650 signatures called for the comic’s removal, with one parent commenting on the decision saying “I would hope that whatever reason that is that you want to keep it in the curriculum outweighs the damage to the reputation of ignoring your community and the people that have so fervently tried to change your minds.”
The CBLDF has now issued a notice to congratulate to Superintendent Jewett and the Watchung Hills School Board for their decision to ‘protect students’ right to read, and to continue to offer an important graphic novel and work of LGBTQIA memoir, which in turn, broadens the voices and experiences found in their curriculum. The choice to add two more works that students can choose from, creates an abundance of choices instead of a restriction of reading, and should be applauded as a great way to handle opposition to assignments in the community.’