A school district in Virginia has decided not to celebrate Dr. Seuss or Theodore Seuss Geisel, any longer as part of the Read Across America Day. Loudoun County Public Schools district released this statement on February 27.
The event is held on the 2nd of March, and it also happens to be the day Dr. Seuss was born. Naturally, the day featured his works very closely, with his works being read out to children by people such as Former First Woman Michelle Obama.
The National Education Association (NEA) had started including authors of color and had slowly distanced the event from Dr. Seuss’ works. The works on display now have themes of community building, racial justice, and promoting inclusiveness.
The Problem In Dr. Seuss’ works
The statement released by Loudoun County Public Schools says that recent studies have shown that the works contain “strong racial undertones”. They include references to American propaganda against the Japanese as well as cartoons depicting slavery among Africans. As such, they have decided to exclude Dr. Seuss’s works from the event. This referendum has been spread for the last few years. It can now be said that the study has been successfully dissociated from the event for Loudoun County Public Schools.
However, the tweet also dispels rumors that the works have been completely banned. The statement specifies that the works can be found in libraries and any other places where it is supposed to be, including classrooms. The only focus was on reducing the emphasis on Dr. Seuss during March 2.
LCPS instead is now encouraging their students to engage with all literature, especially ones showcasing the diversity present in the student body, instead of solely focusing on Dr. Seuss.