An Orthodox Jewish school for girls in London blacked out the word “homosexual” from an official textbook, along with references to women and men hanging around together, according to a report in The Guardian.
The textbook, titled “Understanding the Modern World,” is part of the official curriculum of the state-funded school. School authorities censored an image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, blacked out portions of photographs of other women, and removed sentences that described women smoking and drinking with men. They also removed the phrase “They kissed in public.”
“This policy has nothing to do homophobia or misogyny, but is to protect our girls from sexualisation in line with our parents’ wishes and religious beliefs,” a spokesman for the school told The Guardian.
The reference to homosexuals was censored from a section of the textbook on Nazi persecutions.
The school, called Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ school, is located in Stamford Hill, a London neighborhood with a large Hasidic community. In 2013, the school was caught censoring questions about evolution in a standardized test.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
London Jewish School Censored A Photo of Ginger Rogers