Books by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks have been banned in the Pennsylvania school district.
A Pennsylvania school district is experiencing national controversy after attempting to enhance diversity by banning a number of books on racial equality and diversity.
Jamie and Amanda Hill relocated to the Central York School District two and a half years ago partially because of the district’s leadership in efforts to enhance diversity in the county, but a “state of flux” in the district may have an influence on the good improvements, according to them.
Jamie said the school’s diversity committee, of which he is a member, was requested to develop a list of resources for students and staff after a summer of unrest in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. He explained that the list was not meant to be part of the curriculum, but rather to augment classroom material or to act as an independent resource for people who were looking for it specifically.
The school was also considering revisions to its lesson plans, particularly at the primary level, that included reading Susan Verde’s I Am Human: A Book of Empathy.
According to Amanda, a school board member was concerned about the book and wondered if the school would balance the lesson by teaching empathy for police officers and first responders.
Despite the fact that the book’s cover depicts a nonwhite youngster, she claims the message is about the power of good choices and kindness, not race.
Jane Johnson, the president of the Central York School District school board, stated in a statement that “a considerable portion” of district parents had protested about the substance of the material. As a result, the school board decided to put the material on hold in November.
It was because parents felt the material was “promoting uneven treatment of individuals based on immutable features,” Johnson told local news station WGAL.
The Hills, who have a multiracial son in third grade, claimed the school did not make the list of prohibited materials public, and many people in the neighborhood were unaware of the problem until The York Dispatch reported on it.
Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography, CNN’s Sesame Street town hall on racism, and other books, articles, and films written by primarily BIPOC authors are among the banned items.
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