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Parents weigh in on Wentzville School District's decision to ban 'Fun Home'

A review committee cited the illustrations in "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" about the author and her father's sexuality was too "graphic."

WENTZVILLE, Mo. —
The Wentzville School Board voted to remove another book from the district’s shelves this week.

Parents recently argued against the critically acclaimed “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" by cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

A review committee cited the illustrations in the book about the author and her father's sexuality were too “graphic."

The move came just months after the board banned the "Bluest Eye" from its libraries, which sparked a federal ACLU lawsuit.

"I am very happy. I don't think we need to have that in our schools and I don't think our kids need to learn that kind of stuff during school," said Angie Lewis, a grandparent.

Angie Lewis's granddaughter Riley Dickerson is in fifth grade.

"I think parents should know what they're teaching and it should be up to them if they think their student needs to learn about it," Lewis added.

Alisha Ashlock, a mother of six, agreed to an extent.

"Once they get to high school, I think that the freedom to choose should be more important. Because they are going out in the world because they are learning from sources that we can't control anyway," Ashlock said.

She added that her children had autonomy at home.

"I trust them to make good choices for the most part because I raised them to make good choices and I raised them to be open with me. If they find something in a book that they don't understand that they want to learn more about that they'll come to me," Ashlock continued.

Comic scholar Rebecca Wanzo is a professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at Washington University.

She nominated Bechdel to receive a medal for her work this fall.

She told 5 On Your Side while she understands the book is for college-level students, she would rally for the right to choose.

"Eliminating huge swaths of information for kids about the history of discrimination or about identity. Really things that they need to be thinking about at this developmental age,” Wanzo said.

"To dictate to teachers what they should be teaching, it seems very disrespectful of teachers."

The Wentzville School Board also agreed with a review committee's recommendations to retain three other challenged books.

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