Updated: Feb 7, 2019
Yūsei Matsui's Assassination Classroom was recently banned from Markham Intermediate School (I.S. 51), a Staten Island middle school. The banning occurred after a parent saw the book among her child's school things, and complained that it was inappropriate.
It's not hard to see how this parent came to that conclusion. Assassination Classroom is a series about a group of students who band together to kill their teacher. Guns, knives, and other weaponry make regular appearances. While not part of the parents' official complaint, the manga also contains fan service involving a female teacher, references to drug use, child abuse, and other controversial topics.
The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said this: “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." She was especially concerned due to the school shootings that have occurred all over America in recent years.
The Department of Education does not recommend the series. They claim that it was selected by a librarian who used the Collection Development standards to aid their decision.
Despite its controversial themes, Assassination Classroom is also contains themes that most parents would support, including working together to support a common cause, teachers supporting students to be their best selves, and more. The children aren't trying to kill their teacher out of bloodlust or cruelty - they have to do it in order to save the world. Koro-sensei's intentions are similarly noble - he wants to improve the children's confidence and life skills, and has no intention of truly harming anyone.
From this perspective, it's a genuinely heartwarming series - but is it appropriate for middle school children? I.S. 51 doesn't think it is. What do you think? Is the banning of Assassination Classroom from a school library a reasonable decision, or is it an overreaction? Speak your mind in the comments.