This week, multiple news organizations reported Scholastic would allow elementary schools to exclude certain books with racial or LGBTQ-related content from their campus book fairs
John Henry, firstname.lastname@example.org, Media Relations Manager, 708-646-7679
Washington, DC—Children’s Defense Fund is disappointed in Scholastic’s decision to bow down to opponents of free-speech who are more interested in censoring diverse perspectives than teaching America’s youth.
This week, multiple news organizations, including CNN, reported the company Scholastic has created a book set called Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice that consists of 64 book titles largely dealing with race, gender, and LGBTQ+ -related literature. The book set was created so that elementary schools in states that have literary censorship laws could reject certain materials they deem as offensive from being sold in Scholastic book fairs.
At least six of the books Scholastic will allow elementary schools to ban are pieces of literature recommended on the 2023 CDF Freedom Schools® book list.
“Every child deserves the Freedom to Learn,” said CDF Freedom Schools® National Director Dr. Kristal Moore Clemons. “The oppressive laws that we have seen popping up across America in response to the many diverse and rich perspectives represented in our country are disheartening. However, we expect companies as influential as Scholastic to stand up to these measures especially when it involves the education of our children and young people.”
Scholastic released a statement earlier this week in which the company said the only other option it has in states where book ban legislation exists is to not offer any books in its Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice at any book fairs at all. However, Children’s Defense Fund contends Scholastic would better serve the public if it chooses to stand up to censorship bullies and operate its book fairs the same way it has for the last several decades.
Children’s Defense Fund calls on Scholastic to reverse its decision to appease supporters of America’s growing book ban surge immediately.
“Students deserve access to books that reflect their own lives, teach them about others’ lives, and inspire them to lead,” said Maggie Stern, CDF-Texas Youth Engagement and Civic Education Manager. “We urge Scholastic to stand with the students, families, and teachers who are leading the fight for our freedom to read and stop censoring Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ stories.”
About Children’s Defense Fund
Celebrating 50 years in 2023, Children’s Defense Fund envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. The only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice, CDF advances the well-being of America’s most diverse generation, the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25. CDF’s grassroots movements in marginalized communities build power for child-centered public policy, informed by racial equity and the lived experience of children and youth. Its renowned CDF Freedom Schools® program is conducted in nearly 100 cities across 30 states and territories. Learn more at www.childrensdefense.org.