The following article, Scholastic Draws Heat for Excluding Gender, Raced-Themed 'Diverse' Books from Elementary School Fairs, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Scholastic is taking heat from far-left authors after it announced a recent decision not to offer books that focus on LGBT themes and racism at book fairs in schools.
For millions of students across the country, such fairs offer the excitement of stories old and new and they have become a tradition in American schools.
But with the left pushing divisive and confusing literature and ideas on young people, many states have acted to protect students.
In Florida, for example, literature that forces sexuality on children or attempts to teach them that America is inherently racist is not allowed in elementary schools.
Scholastic will no longer separate titles that deal with race, gender, and sexuality from its main offerings after facing accusations of pandering to racists.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 25, 2023
Scholastic issued a statement on its website last week that alerted school districts that in order to relieve shipments of “diverse titles,” they would have to opt into a catalog of books.
The publisher blamed state laws for the decision.
“There is now enacted or pending legislation in more than 30 U.S. states prohibiting certain kinds of books from being in schools — mostly LGBTQIA+ titles and books that engage with the presence of racism in our country,” Scholastic said in a statement.
The publisher added:
“Because Scholastic Book Fairs are invited into schools, where books can be purchased by kids on their own, these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”
Scholastic said it had created a collection of books called “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” for book fairs that districts could order by request.
“We cannot make a decision for our school partners around what risks they are willing to take, based on the state and local laws that apply to their district, so these topics and this collection have been part of many planning calls that happen in advance of shipping a fair,” Scholastic said.
The Washington Examiner reported the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection features 64 different books.
One of them is from former NFL quarterback and anti-American activist Colin Kaepernick.
Other titles from far-left sex and gender activists are also in the catalog.
Author Amanda Gorman, who has written books about perceived racial oppression, posted a video about Scholastic’s decision on X.
“Stunned that @Scholastic Book Fairs is self-censoring the books in its ‘Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice,’ which are predominantly by queer, disabled, & Black & brown authors,” she complained.
Gorman added, “This is not sharing our stories–it’s treating them as separate but equal.”
She also complained in a video message that accompanied the post.
Stunned that @Scholastic Book Fairs is self-censoring the books in its “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice,” which are predominantly by queer, disabled, & Black & brown authors. This is not sharing our stories–it’s treating them as separate but equal. pic.twitter.com/4pfcZ1C9Df
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) October 20, 2023
“It’s heartbreaking to see the road that Scholastic has taken,” she said in the video.
Illustrator Loren Long, who creates the images for Gorman’s books, also posted on X about Scholastic’s decision.
— Loren Long (@lorenlong) October 20, 2023
Author Rebecca Burgess, whose book “Speak Up!” is on Scholastic’s opt-in list, also posted about the company.
“I’ve been rly mad and upset about this all day. I was mad about this whole thing anyway, of course!” she posted.
I’ve been rly mad and upset about this all day. I was mad about this whole thing anyway, of course!
But like, most of the *lovely* messages I’ve had from thankful parents and excited kids start with “I saw your book at my local bookfair”- https://t.co/SLuP2RpSQG
— Bex Burgess- email@example.com (@theorah) October 19, 2023
“Speak Up!” is about an autistic preteen singer with a “nonbinary” best friend. Together, per a description of the book, the pair takes on bullying with music.
Scholastic said in its statement that it could not find a solution to selling divisive books that pleased everyone.
“We don’t pretend this solution is perfect – but the other option would be to not offer these books at all – which is not something we’d consider,” the company said.
Scholastic concluded, “There is a wide range of diverse titles throughout every book fair, for every age level.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.