A student at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California, has failed in her bid to strike four critically-acclaimed graphic novels from the syllabus of an English literature course on graphic novels.
Using an exceptionally broad definition of the term, Tara Shultz, 20, called the works “pornographic,” and added that she was disappointed that the school would assign material containing “pedophilia and … rape jokes and murder and absolutely horrible graphic violence.”
The works that Shultz and her parents found unacceptable are Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, the first volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man and Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg & Co.’s The Sandman: The Doll’s House.
“It was shocking,” Shultz said, according to the Redlands Daily Facts. “I didn’t expect to open the book and see that graphic material within. I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.”
“At least get a warning on the books,” Shultz added. “At most I would like the books eradicated from the system. I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage.”
Tara’s father, Greg Shultz, chimed in with the strangely-worded comment that “If they (had) put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.”
Cheryl Marshall, the school’s president, announced that the books would not be removed from the syllabus. “I support the college’s policy on academic freedom which requires an open learning environment at the college. Students have the opportunity to study controversial issues and arrive at their own conclusions and faculty are to support the student’s right to freedom of inquiry. We want students to learn and grow from their college experiences; sometimes this involves reaffirming one’s values while other times beliefs and perspectives change.”
Unfortunately, Shultz and her parents did not completely fail in their ridiculous efforts. Going forward, the course will come with a disclaimer.
A follow-up article in the Redlands Daily Facts reported that Greg Shultz intends to take the issue to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Directors and has reached out to state lawmakers.
Tara Shultz, who is working on her associate’s degree in English, clarified that she does not want the books banned, she just does not want them taught in a course or sold at the school bookstore. “To know your money is kind of being wasted on something that is pornographic and contains pedophilia and contains rape jokes and murder and absolutely horrible, graphic violence is a very large disappointment,” she said. “The fact this is being taught as an English course or at least trying to be taught as an English course was appalling not only to myself, but to my parents.”
D.H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Norman Mailer, J.D. Salinger, Erica Jong, John Updike, Philip Roth, and Vladimir Nabokov could not be reached for comment.