The National Coalition Against Censorship and six allied literacy organizations responded yesterday to the Chicago Public Schools’ March 20 letter to them defending CPS’s decision last month to remove Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi from district classrooms. On Wednesday, the NCAC’s Kids Right to Read Project filed a second Freedom of Information Act records request with CPS for all internal written communications concerning the decision to remove Persepolis from classrooms. At the same time, the NCAC sent a letter to CPS legal counsel, top administrators, board members, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, requesting that CPS reconsider its decision to remove Persepolis, due to a lack of any “analysis or evaluation of the book that would explain its actions.”
Citing a number of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Joan Bertin, the NCAC executive director, and her six co-signers, contend that CPS has offered only a “post-hoc rationalization for a poorly conceived and executed decision” that violates the rights of students.
Bertin and her co-signers also point out that Persepolis was included as a foundational text to discuss violence against women and equal rights in a curriculum called "Speak Truth to Power" that was developed by Chicago public school teachers in 2011 and endorsed by CPS, Chicago's Teachers Union, and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
In response to the NCAC/Kids Right to Read Project’s March 19 FOIA request, the district sent them only five documents, one of which was a school library materials policy document.