Wake County High School English Teacher Awards Very ‘Graphic’ Novel (Update: NOVEL PULLED)
On the reading list for an English class III at Apex Friendship High School in Wake County is a book that has a consistent place in the list of the ten most contested books in the country. This book is the graphic novel Fun Home: a tragicomic family by Alison Bechdel.
For updates, scroll to the end of the article.
Bechdel is the author of the comic Dikes to watch and Fun house rose to number 7 on the list of most contested books in 2015.
Fun house is graphic in the pictorial sense and in the overall content. Some have even called it pornographic – and they are not wrong. For example, there are multiple sex scenes, an explicit depiction of lesbian oral sex, nudity, and masturbation.
Additionally, there are scenes showing the Father cruising for the young men, and the reader learns that he is preying on his young male students. There are questionable photos of the father of his own children and images of cut open corpses. If that wasn’t enough, there are more links in this article on Hornet.com.
âIn the enormous amount of literature that exists, how was this trashcan chosen? It wouldn’t even be a good read for even a brothel, let alone a high school English class, âone reader wrote to me over the weekend.
Another called Fun house the âdirt they expectâ at a Wake County school.
Here is the description on Amazon:
Meet Alison’s father, an expert in historic preservation and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral director, a high school English teacher, a frosty and distant relative and a gay man locked up who, ultimately, is involved with her male students and a family babysitter. Through an alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny tale, we are drawn into a girl’s complex longing for her father. And yet, aside from the passages assigned to dust off the coffins in the family-owned “recreation house,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship reaches its most intimate expression through the shared code of the books. When Alison reveals herself as a homosexual in her late teens, the ending is swift, graphic – and redeeming.
What are teenage students in an English III high school class supposed to take away from this? Maybe parents should ask themselves where the “book” came from first.
Parents in Wake County should know that the Office of Equity Affairs hired a Teaching Tolerance employee in June 2018. Teaching Tolerance is an offshoot of the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center.
Lauryn Mascarenaz has been hired to be the âDirector of Equity Affairs for Coaching and Leadershipâ. His salary on date of hire was $ 85,000, which is well above that of most teachers. At the end of 2019, she got a raise and was making $ 86,708.
Mascarenaz still writes on the Teaching Tolerance website and has been responsible for integrating the âSocial Justice Standardsâ and the âAnti-Bias Frameworkâ into the Wake County teacher professional development framework.
The âSocial Justice Standardsâ and âAnti-Bias Frameworkâ documents include reading lists and resources. The Bechdel Amusement House can be found under âBest Practices for Serving LGBTQ Studentsâ. Here’s how Teaching Tolerance describes it:
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This memorable and graphic novel features a dark and funny family story marked by Gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. This book is often disputed, but excerpts may be appropriate for high school classes.
This blog has followed the teaching of tolerance and its radical activism for social justice and the promotion of LGBT material in K-12 education for almost a decade. The Exposing Teaching Tolerance page of this website has become the most visited section over the past two years. Incidents like the one at Apex Friendship High illustrate why.
Since this afternoon, the director of Apex Friendship High has called for the novel to be removed from the reading list after parents asked why or how it was placed on an English class III reading list. .
An email was sent to a relative of Principal Matt Wight, who said he had removed the book from consideration for future use and would ensure that copies of the book were collected from students who might have it.
Principal Wright also apologized to the parent and said he would work with the English department to verify the texts to make sure they are appropriate.