The book “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel is being challenged by parents in Brookfield Schools after another challenge in the district over the sexually-explicit book "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson failed.
Like many sexually-explicit books these days, Fun Home is a graphic novel. The book won multiple awards, including the Stonewall Book Award, and the musical adaptation won a Tony Award for Best Musical. Librarians often cite awards like this in order to fight for controversial books to remain on the shelves.
Fun Home is a graphic memoir about a young woman who discovers she's a lesbian while growing up with a remote dad who managed a funeral home and hid his homosexuality. The book is rated "Not For Minors" for depictions of alternate sexualities and alternate gender ideologies, profanity, alcohol use, suicide commentary, inflammatory religious commentary, sexual activities, and sexual nudity.
The images of a young woman engaged in oral sex with another woman were so graphic that Greenwich Public Schools decided to pull the book off its shelves once the district was made aware of the book's presence in January 2023. The description from the Greenwich High School Follett Destiny system said the book included "adult content". They certainly weren't kidding!
The Greenwich BOE incorporated a vetting rubric into Board Policy in order to ensure content appropriateness for classroom materials shortly after being made aware of Fun Home.
The Brookfield BOE previously added a special policy entitled "Appeals to Reconsideration of Library Material" that was approved on February 16, 2022:
The Board of Education recognizes the right of an individual parent/guardian to request that his/her child’s library selection be limited. Residents SHALL NOT have the right to determine library materials for students other than their own.Brookfield BOE Policy Addendum
The policy goes on to explain that when books are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read, listen, and view are defended. The policy additionally says that the subcommittee conducting the review of a challenged book can consult the Marxist-run American Library Association (ALA) for advice and opinions.
Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals.
The statement further declares that parents and teachers have a responsibility to expose children to diverse experiences. As such the ALA urges against preventing children from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. Isn't there a word for introducing children to concepts for which they are not developmentally prepared?
It would not at all be surprising to see Brookfield keep Fun Home on the shelves in light of this policy.