This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
recently reviewed a concern brought forward regarding the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition one of two book options set during the Holocaust and available for students to read as part of a larger unit on Courage in Life and Literature within the district’s seventh grade English Language Arts curriculum. In keeping with the district’s established procedure, a committee was assembled to review the concerns raised related to the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition through the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Materials process. The review committee consisted of administrators from the elementary school, middle school, and district level; media specialists from the elementary and secondary level; two middle school English teachers; and two parents with students currently in the district. Following a thoughtful, deliberative process, the committee reached a unanimous decision to continue use of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition as an option within the seventh grade English Language Arts curriculum. The committee felt strongly that a decision to remove the use of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition as a choice within this larger unit of study would effectively impose situational censorship by eliminating the opportunity for the deeper study afforded by this edition. The committee also suggested the district take steps to further communicate information about the units of study within the middle school literature courses, and where possible, provide booklists to parents with the notation that reading selections can always be reviewed by parents prior to making a literature selection. As always, in the event that a concern surfaces during a unit and is brought to the teacher’s attention, adjustments can be made to move the student to another literature selection and/or an alternative assignments can be discussed. A communication regarding the seventh grade English Language Arts units of study and booklists is being created and will be shared with parents in the near future. Communication on units of study and booklists from other grades also will be forthcoming. At Northville Public Schools we are proud of the partnerships we have forged with parents in the best interest of all students. Keeping in mind that families within the Northville community have varying perspectives, and that our students have varying levels of sensitivity and maturity — which are often best accommodated by their parents — the district strives to provide choices for parents and students where appropriate and possible when it comes to programming and courses. As a school district, we also encourage parents to use supplemental learning activities and books that reflect their own family’s values and perspectives to support reading and literature analysis taking place in the classroom. The education of all children within Northville Public Schools is our priority. We value the opportunity to give consideration to concerns expressed by members of our school community regarding instructional materials through a process that honors and respects the diversity of thought and perspective which makes all of us — students, teachers, staff and community members — richer for the experience.
Sincerely, Robert D.G. Behnke Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services