MORE: Loudoun County Public Schools Address Dr. Seuss Controversy; school system didn’t ban Seuss’s books | News

Loudoun County Public Schools officials oppose false claims that the school system has “canceled” or banned books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss.

Along with school systems across the country, the LCPS has long celebrated “Reading Across America Day” — a holiday established by the National Education Association in 1998 — on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

However, the school system recently cited research from the School Library Journal, a journalistic outlet with a target audience of children’s librarians and information specialists, saying the author’s work contains “strong racial undertones.” Such work would include cartoons with allegedly anti-Japanese American and anti-African American sentiments.

A Feb. 26 article from the Daily Wire, a conservative online outlet, reported that an LCPS announcement instructed employees to refrain from “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss,” leading other outlets to posit or assert that the author’s bibliography had been banned. or “cancelled”.

According to the school system’s Feb. 27 statement, administrators have asked employees to disassociate Reading Day Across America from Dr. Seuss’ birthday “for the past two years.”

“We continue to encourage our young readers to read all types of books that are inclusive, diverse, and reflective of our student community, and not just to celebrate Dr. Seuss,” the statement read. “Dr. Seuss’s books have not been banned and are available to students in our libraries and classrooms, however, Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the focus of Read Across America day in schools. public in Loudoun County.

In an email with the Times-Mirror, LCPS public information officer Wayde Byard added that teachers dressing up in Seussian garb for Reading Day across America — for example, the iconic cat-in-the-hat helmet – are discouraged but “not prohibited”.

He also clarified that the advert referenced in The Daily Wire was an email sent to teachers “repeating language we’ve used in the past”, and that the National Education Association has also disassociated Read Across America Day from Dr. Seuss , despite the creation of the party. in the first place.

On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that six of the author’s books — including such popular titles as “If I Ran the Zoo” and “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” — will cease publication “in because of racist and insensitive remarks”. footage,” according to the Associated Press.

“These books portray people in hurtful and misguided ways,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a prepared statement. “Stopping sales of these books is just part of our commitment and larger plan to ensure the Dr. Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families.

Local groups representing African American and Japanese American communities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jeremy S. McLain