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Freedom to teach: Implications of the removal of Persepolis from Chicago schools

McNicol, Sarah (2014) Freedom to teach: Implications of the removal of Persepolis from Chicago schools. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 6. ISSN 2150-4857

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Abstract

Despite sometimes being viewed as inferior to other forms of literature, comic books and graphic novels are frequently used within the school curriculum. However, in March 2013, public schools in Chicago were instructed by the district authority to remove the well-respected graphic novel Persepolis (Satrapi, M. 2008. London: Vintage) from libraries and classrooms. Chicago Public Schools indicated that the ban would only be revoked once professional development guidelines for teachers had been produced to support the teaching of the text. This article examines the types of support that teachers may benefit from when teaching graphic novels, and Persepolis in particular, and questions whether the possible lack of such support justifies the removal of the text from schools.

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