Virginia school district cancels Dr. Seuss celebration, citing ‘racial undertones’ in his books

Virginia

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WNCN) — A Virginia school district will no longer celebrate Theodor Seuss Geisel A.K.A., Dr. Seuss, during ‘Read Across America Day’ citing “strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by him.”

Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools district says it has not banned Dr. Seuss books, quelling a rumor circulating that they got rid of them. The school district says the books are available to students in libraries and classrooms.

Read Across America Day, typically celebrated on March 2 also marks the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The school district says they will no longer connect Seuss’ birthday to the reading awareness day.

“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Examples include anti-Japanese American political cartoons and cartoons depicting African Americans for sale captioned with offensive language.  Given this research, and LCPS’ focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction, LCPS provided this guidance to schools during the past couple of years to not connect Read Across America Day exclusively with Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of ‘Read Across America Day’ in Loudoun County Public Schools,” the district said in a statement.

Instead, the school district has encouraged students to “read all types of books that are inclusive, diverse and reflective of our student community, not simply celebrate Dr. Seuss. “

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