Students in middle schools in Northville, MI will continue to have the opportunity to read and study the definitive edition of Anne Frank’s A Diary of a Young Girl. A district reconsideration committee voted to retain the book, which was challenged by a parent because of anatomical descriptions in the book.
When announcing the decision, the district’s Assistant Superintendent, Bob Behnke, wrote that to remove the book "would effectively impose situational censorship by eliminating the opportunity for the deeper study afforded by this edition.”
Before the vote, ten free speech organizations signed a letter to Northville School District in Michigan urging them to keep the definitive edition in classrooms.
The letter, which was sent to the Superintendent and Board of Education Members in Northville, emphasizes the power and relatability of Frank’s diary for middle school students. Frank’s honest writings about her body and the changes she was undergoing during her two-year period of hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam can serve as an excellent resource for students themselves undergoing these changes.
Anne Frank’s diary has been made available in its unexpurgated totality in the years since the death of her father, Otto Frank, who censored the diary during his lifetime. Her cousin, Buddy Elias, president of the Anne Frank Foundation, said of the full translated work: "It’s really her. It shows her in a truer light, not as a saint, but as a girl like every other girl. She was nothing, actually; people try to make a saint out of her and glorify her. That she was not. She was an ordinary, normal girl with a talent for writing."