A Massachusetts librarian in the Cambridge Public School system rejected Dr. Seuss books gifted by First Lady Melania Trump, calling them racist and harmful.
She wrote in her letter to the White House that Seuss’s books are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”
Since when is Dr. Seuss racist or harmful?
According to the school district, she did not have the permission to reject the books.
Liz Phipps Soeiro wrote a letter to express her opinion (which was not a representation of the school) in which she claimed that the school does not need them donated books because they have “plenty of resources” and that Dr. Seuss is “a bit of a cliche.”
Soeiro also wrote in her letter to the White House that Seuss’s books are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”
The whole reason the school was even sent the books in the first place is because they were selected (only one school from each state was chosen) to receive the donation in honor of National Read a Book Day.
On National #ReadABookDay I encourage everyone to read a book. Let every page educate you & take you on an exciting journey!
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 6, 2017
The librarian wrote that rather than sending books to a well-funded elementary school in Cambridge, Trump should instead be devoting resources to schools in “underfunded and underprivileged communities” that are “marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.” Critics view DeVos, a billionaire who has worked for decades to promote school choice, or alternatives to traditional public schools, as one of the most anti-public-education secretaries in the department’s history.
Giving the books was part of Trump’s effort to use her platform “to help as many children as she can,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.
Those efforts include hosting a roundtable discussion Thursday about the opioid epidemic, including how it affects youths, and speaking at a luncheon on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly about work she hopes to do as an anti-bullying advocate.
The Department of Education chose one high-achieving school in every state to receive a package of books from Trump, according to a statement from the White House.
“Turning the gesture of sending young school children books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere,” Grisham said.
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