Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen, told KGVO News on Tuesday that the Billings Public School District voted 5-4 not to remove a fictional book (a graphic novel) from its library that Arntzen said featured pornographic images and violence against a teacher.

Arntzen said she rarely asks a school library to remove a book, especially from a high school library.

OPI's Arntzen on her Failed Effort to Ban a Graphic Novel in Billings High School

“We do not want to ban books in Montana,” began Superintendent Arntzen. “But what we would like to see, and I know myself as a parent and a grandmother and as a teacher would like to see, that the books that are in the library, whether they're for choice or they are reading material that's defined by a syllabus in the classroom. We would like those (books) to enhance learning. We also know that some of these books may need to have some parental support or some parental views on them.”

Arntzen detailed her objections to the book, Yusei Matsu’s graphic novel, Assassination Classroom, Volume 1.

Arntzen said She Objected to the Book's Specific Violence against a Teacher

“What happened in Billings was a five to four vote to keep a picture book (a cartoon book) that has sexual connotations and also violence,” she said. “I'm going to stand up for teachers on this because the violence (in the book) is directed toward teachers.”

Arntzen acknowledged the fact that the book is available to young adults in their high school years but decried the violence depicted against teachers.

“I understand that this is in the high school, and granted they are young adults, but they're still not possibly at the age of maturity at the age of 18,” she said. “At this point, I believe more parents (should be more) aware, or parents would like to be invited to this conversation. Let's unite with parents and teachers, especially over this book that does incite violence against teachers.”

MCPS Told KGVO that it has not Received any Complaints about the Book

Arntzen said the Laurel School District did vote to remove the book from its library.

KGVO News reached out to the Missoula County School District, since the book is available in the high school library. Spokesperson Tyler Christiansen said that her office has not received any complaints about the book. When complaints are received, there is a process in which a book can be reviewed and can be removed with a majority vote of the Missoula County School Board.

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