Looks like the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) isn’t the only institution in South Carolina’s historic “Holy City” facing controversy …

The College of Charleston (a.k.a. the “College of Knowledge”) is staring down a major scandal of its own following its selection of a sexually charged graphic novel as required reading for incoming freshman.

The novel – Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – was first published in 2006. It addresses the author’s upbringing in rural Pennsylvania, most notably her relationship with her father and her affinity for girl-on-girl sex. The book includes several NSFW drawings – including one of a woman performing oral sex on her partner.

(Here’s the College of Knowledge’s reading guide for the book, in case you’re interested … and here’s one of the NSFW pages which has everybody so mad).

Given its racy content, Fun Home – and the $50,000 South Carolina taxpayers are shelling out to subsidize its purchase – is prompting some serious outcry from social conservatives, including Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council.

“It really does cross a line,” Smith says.

Frankly, Fun Home doesn’t offend us. However its selection as required reading for college freshman at a taxpayer-funded institution of higher learning shows questionable judgment on the part of the school. In fact it strikes us as yet another example of why public dollars shouldn’t go to fund any higher educational course, period.

We believe the Palmetto State’s bloated, duplicative higher ed system – which spends a disproportionate amount of tax dollars to produce an inferior product – should be set free to pursue its destiny in the private sector. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening. South Carolina’s sprawling network of thirty-three state supported colleges and universities continues to slip its tentacles deeper into a so-called “economic development” role – resulting in colossal failures like the University of South Carolina’s spectacularly failed “Innovista” boondoggle.

Fun Home is a blip on the radar compared to costly disasters like that … but at the end of the day it (like the higher “education” it is part of) is not a core function of government.