School official vows to review book ban targeting black authors

Jane Johnson, president of the Central York School Board, said officials would review a list of banned educational materials – all created by color designers – that have drawn criticism and protests.

In a written statement, Johnson said the ban was the result of complaints from some parents in the district. The students, however, staged a protest this week in response to The York Dispatch’s reporting on the matter.

“The board believes that the fundamental goal of the school is that of grassroots academics, objective education without indoctrination,” she said on Friday, “and we look forward to the next review of the list and the balance in our classrooms “.

Johnson said the district would soon form a program committee to review the ban. The board also wants its next superintendent – who will replace Michael Snell, who is retiring in October – to give his opinion on the matter.

She did not present a timeline for the review, but noted that the school board “embraces diversity in its many forms, including diversity of thought.”

Examples of some of the books included in the Central York School District ban on diversity teaching materials.

Here is Johnson’s statement in full:

“Regarding the Summer 2020 ‘Diversity Committee Summer Meeting Resource List’ (List), a significant portion of parents in our district have expressed concerns about some of the materials included on the listing. These concerns were based on the content of the resource, not the author or topic. On November 9, 2020, the then board of directors unanimously approved a decision to freeze the use of these resources pending the reinstatement of the board’s curriculum oversight mechanism. One solution to this oversight has been the creation of a curriculum committee. In addition, when announcing the retirement of the current superintendent, the board felt that the new superintendent should also be part of this important discussion.

“The board embraces diversity in its many forms, including diversity of thought. We have always hosted a myriad of quality diversity materials that embrace differences and encourage equality, tolerance, inclusion, communication and kindness. However, many parents in the district have expressed concern that certain resources on this particular list favor the opposite by promoting unequal treatment of individuals on unchanging characteristics. They believe that rather than unite on diversity, some resources polarize and divide on diversity and are based on contested theories and facts. The Council believes that the fundamental purpose of the school is that of grassroots academics, objective education without indoctrination of any political or social agenda, and we look forward to the next List revision and balance in our classrooms. . “

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