June 10, 2023

A Texas college district isn’t on board with a e book written by a Black writer being taught to seventh graders, although certainly one of its center faculties bears his title.

Carroll Unbiased Faculty District, a district with roughly 8,400 college students in Southlake, reviewed George Dawson’s memoir Life Is So Good and decided that elements of it had been “inappropriate,” WFAA-TV reported.

Dawson, who realized to learn at 98, wrote about his life as a grandson and great-grandson of slaves. His autobiography additionally particulars how he witnessed his greatest good friend getting lynched after he was accused of raping a white girl, a criminal offense Dawson mentioned the good friend didn’t commit.

Oprah Winfrey featured Dawson on her speak present in 1998, the 12 months he wrote the e book. Dawson died in 2001 and, the next 12 months, college officers within the district renamed a center college after him. The college additionally has a statue of Dawson in entrance of it.

Brandie Egan, a district spokesperson, advised the Dallas Morning Information that the e book was not banned “nor beneath reconsideration” as a part of its evaluate. Nevertheless, when a instructor wished to make the e book required studying in a seventh-grade class, a district committee checked out it and “decided that content material in sure sections of this e book was not applicable for this age group,” Egan mentioned.

Life Is So Good was certainly one of roughly 10 texts the district is reviewing, per the Dallas Morning Information. It wasn’t used for any identified class instruction final 12 months, the spokesperson acknowledged.

District superintendent Lane Ledbetter wrote that content material from one chapter was “not applicable” for seventh graders, the Fort Price Star-Telegram reported, however the district didn’t elaborate on what the content material was. He added that the committee decided that academics may nonetheless lead instruction “in a couple of sections of the e book to facilitate the supply of delicate content material and nonetheless convey the writer’s message.”

The concept of any kind of evaluate isn’t sitting nicely with Dawson’s family members.

“That’s hurtful. You are taking away the dangerous and the ugly and also you solely speak in regards to the good. That doesn’t add up,” Dawson’s great-grandson Chris Irvin, an African American historical past main in faculty, advised WFAA-TV. “Black historical past is American historical past. You possibly can’t have one with out the opposite. I can’t go to your historical past and let you know, ‘Hey x that out of your life, that didn’t occur.’”

The district has been concerned in quite a few controversies up to now.

A video of white highschool college students within the district yelling the N-word at a Black scholar went viral on social media in 2018, NBC Information reported. Within the wake of backlash over the video, the varsity board deliberate to implement variety and inclusion coaching for college students.

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum additionally condemned a district administrator final 12 months after she was recorded saying academics ought to supply books with an “opposing” view on the Holocaust, KXAS-TV reported. She made the remarks after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a legislation that required academics to current a number of views about controversial points.

“We acknowledge there are usually not two sides of the Holocaust,” Ledbetter mentioned final 12 months. “As we proceed to work by way of implementation of [the law], we additionally perceive this invoice doesn’t require an opposing viewpoint on historic info.”

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