Oran Smith, the president of Palmetto Family, a statewide conservative advocacy group, told Fox News the book is “absolutely pornographic.”
“Our concern is the vulnerability of kids some younger than 18 who are required to read that book,” Smith said. “It really is inappropriate for the College of Charleston to in essence take a side in the culture war.”
A college spokesperson told Fox News the book is not mandatory reading – but it will be included in the academic curriculum and through a number of special events.
“It’s even included in the family weekend in September,” the parent told Fox News. “Parents are going to learn from students and faculty about how the book will be infused through campus programming.”
“This is more than a summer reading book,” he said. “It sounds like they are trying to indoctrinate the freshman class.”
Bechdel told The Post and Courier newspaper that a number of universities have assigned her graphic novel to students. She denied claims the book is pornographic
“Pornography is meant to cause sexual arousal in readers, she said, which is clearly not the intent of her book,” the newspaper reported.
In addition to the book, the College of Charleston will host a public lecture titled, “Why History Matters: Same-Sex Marriage and the Courts. There will also be lectures on “The Legacy of Matthew Shepard” and “The Sexual Politics of Urban Spaces.”
Other parents told Fox News they were very concerned about publicly objecting to the book after they came under fire.
“They claim they want to have a discussion (about the book),” a parent told Fox News. “But the parents who tried to discuss it on the website were condemned. Those who did were slammed.”
In a statement to Fox News the College of Charleston defended the book and said it was selected by a committee composed of faculty, staff, administrators and students.