A parent complained to the administrative staff at the library for the Markham Intermediate School in Graniteville, Staten Island, after she found out that her daughter had borrowed a series of mangas from the library called Assassination Classroom, which is about a group of misfit students who band together in an attempt to kill their teacher who is an alien from outer space attempting to bring about world destruction. The administrative staff took the complaint to heart and permanently banned the entire Assassination Classroom manga series from the library.
The news comes courtesy of a balanced report about the matter from SILive.com, which outlines why the mother was outraged and what the actual manga was about. Quoting the enraged parent who wished to remain anonymous, she said…
“My biggest thing was is it should have never been in that library and I would love to know how it got there and who thought it was a good idea to do that,”
The issue she had with the manga was that in light of the school shootings, she didn’t feel the book was appropriate to be on the shelf of the school library, with SILive explaining…
“Citing recent school shootings, she explained that she is worried that the books could be available in other schools. She added that they contain sensitive content and profanities.”
The comedic manga became popular for its ridiculous premise that was peppered with plenty of satire and gags while also dealing with slice-of-life elements. The manga was even eventually turned into an anime.
Even still, the Department of Education’s spokeswoman, Danielle Filson, concurred with the parent’s assessment of the manga, issuing a statement on behalf of the institution saying…
“We have policies in place to ensure that our school libraries stock high-quality, age-appropriate books. I.S. 51 leadership met with this parent after she raised her concern, and decided to remove the book from the library.”
SILive pointed to the School Library Journal’s review of Assassination Classroom, where they explained why kids might like the book and how the actual message is about duty, comradeship, and responsibility for protecting those you love. So those in the actual field of reading and promoting literacy are well aware of the manga’s content and felt it appropriate for middle-schoolers.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund also came to the defense of Assassination Classroom, stating that while the mother had every right to prevent her child from reading the manga, she had no right to have the book banned so that others were prevented from reading the manga, stating…
“It seems clear that this situation that the parent and the school leadership took the manga and its title out of context, likening it to the genuine epidemic of school shootings, even though it is a fantastical work of comedy and science fiction that has nothing to do with that problem. And while a parent has every right to say they don’t want their child reading something called Assassination Classroom, they don’t have that right to make that book unavailable to other students. Some of whom may find the storylines of students who don’t excel at school being earth’s only hope and of a tentacled super villain teacher being the first to believe in this underdog class resonating to their own experience.”
This is almost similar to one kid nearly getting expelled from school because he drew the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate logo on a whiteboard and the school thought it was a warning message from a potential school shooter.
Nevertheless, this is just more of the same kind of news of censorship that has been strongly circulating the media sphere in recent times, especially in combination with the United Nations looking to crackdown on lolicons, along with Reddit, Valve, and Sony also going after Japanese media they deem unworthy to be viewed by the general public.
The war on anime is real, the war on weebs is real, and it appears the waifu holocaust never ended.
(Thanks for the news tip Animatic)