Committee to review graphic novel in Troy Athens High School library after parent complains

Novel is not part of any mandatory curriculum

The Troy school board is set to decide on pulling a book or not from the Troy Athens High School library.

TROY, Mich.The Troy school board is set to decide if it will remove a graphic memoir from the Troy Athens High School library or let the book stay.

A parent complained about “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel and said he considers an image inside the graphic novel to be pornographic.

The graphic novel is not part of any mandatory curriculum and does have a graphic content warning label. It was in the library because it was part of an AP seminar in 2015. It has been checked out three times in the last six years.

One parent went to the school board, the city council, and even the Troy Police Department with concerns.

Bechdel’s memoir discusses her fraught relationship with her late father, Bruce Bechdel. He was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home. Bechdel came out as a lesbian in college and then discovered her father was also gay. A few weeks after the discovery, her father died.

In 2009, Time Magazine called the novel one of the top 10 graphic novels ever written. Its musical adaptation has won several Tony Awards. The novel has been challenged in other states.

Over the last few years, some parents have tried to ban books involving race, sex, and LGBTQ+ topics. As for this particular novel, the district said a request for review has been made and a committee is reviewing its status.

The committee reviewing the book is made up of parents, teachers, students, and administrators. The district said the parent who voiced concerns was fully aware of the review process but chose not to bring the issue to those who could address it.

Read: More local news coverage

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.