Conservative activist Bruce Friedman wants to ban an "Arthur" book from 1989.
He claims that a game of spin the bottle in the book could result in "damaged souls."
"Arthur's Birthday" follows the aardvark and his friends as they plan a joint birthday party.
A number of universally loved books have been banned in schools across the United States in 2023, including the likes of "Charlotte's Web," "Maus," and "Animal Farm." Now, "Arthur" is under fire too.
Yes, the beloved aardvark — who also had his own animated TV series on PBS — is facing censure in Florida over one book which references the party game, spin the bottle.
According to a report by The Daily Beast, conservative activist Bruce Friedman lodged a complaint against author Marc Brown's 1989 book, "Arthur's Birthday," with the Clay County School District earlier this month.
Friedman's reasoning is that "it is not appropriate to discuss 'spin the bottle' with elementary school children," and that the contents of the book could result in "damaged souls," per a copy of the complaint published by the website.
"Arthur's Birthday" is aimed at children from kindergarten through sixth grade, and follows Arthur and his friends as they try to figure out what to do when the titular aardvark and his friend, Muffy, both want to have their birthday parties on the same day.
At the end of the story, Arthur is given a bottle with the words "Francine's Spin the Bottle Game" written on it as a birthday gift.
Friedman's complaint also said that he wants to "protect children" and that the game is "not okay for K-5 kids."
According to the Florida Times-Union, Friedman is the president of the Florida chapter of No Left Turn in Education, which, according to its website, opposes "radical indoctrination in K-12 education."
Friedman has spoken out against the teaching of critical race theory in schools in the past.
The Florida Freedom to Read Project defended "Arthur's Birthday" on Twitter, writing: "The entire book is about being inclusive of all friends and not only inviting boys or girls (based on your gender) to your birthday party."
A decision on whether to remove "Arthur's Birthday" is "pending oversight committee review."
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