November 30, 2020

North Carolina: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Removes Book That was to be Part of Anti-Bullying Lesson

From WSOC-TV:

The Amazon summary for the book describes a story about the unique challenges faced when someone doesn’t identify with traditional gender roles.

In the book, Jacob wants to wear a dress to school.

The book was supposed to be part of an anti-bullying lesson for first graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

But not everyone was in agreement.

CMS board member Rhonda Lennon said that a concerned teacher spoke up about the book.

That concern made its way to Raleigh and lawmakers contacted the CMS Board of Education, which didn’t know about the book selection.

“Apparently, we were the topic of conversation for most of the General Assembly off and on yesterday,” Lennon said. “I think there are ways that we could have incorporated that kind of communication and that type of a curriculum with our students to make sure people are treating everybody respectfully without really going that far and it just feels like we went too far.”

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From The Charlotte Observer:

Facing outrage from Republican state legislators, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Tuesday reversed plans to use “Jacob’s New Dress,” a picture book about a boy who likes to dress like a girl, in all CMS first-grade classes.

[Clip]

After a teacher complained to lawmakers, Charles Jeter, the district’s government liaison, says he talked to both sides to “find a resolution without the General Assembly finding a resolution.”

Tuesday afternoon, Jeter emailed about two dozen Republican legislators to say CMS had agreed to pull the book and substitute “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” about a crayon that looks red but sees himself as blue.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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