PHOTO ABOVE: Pennsylvania State Representative Donna Bullock (Photo / Pa. House)
HARRISBURG, Pa .– State Representative and President of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Donna Bullock (D-195th Dist.) Were joined today by members of the PLBC, LGBTQ + Caucus, Latino Caucus and the equity committee to denounce the ban on books on diversity in schools in the republic.
This action was spurred in part by the overturning of a one-year book freeze in a York County school district and new pressure from Republican lawmakers to ban Critical Race Theory, which is currently taught in no district of the state. Two students who led the protest against the book freeze in the Central York School District, Edha Gupta and Christina Ellis, spoke at the press conference. âThe ban on diversity books is a direct result of this Republicans fabricated crisis of critical race theory,â Bullock said. âThis fear campaign has made parents and school districts scramble to stop something that doesn’t exist. Part of the negative effect of this overreaction is that children are prevented from reading books that reflect their diverse school community and the world around them.
âIf we continue to allow groups to ride this misinformation, this ban will be just the tip of the iceberg. We owe our children more than that and we call on districts that minimize or restrict information through book bans or perpetuate this fabricated crisis that is just a political platform. “
Pennsylvania is on a growing list of states trying to enact a ban on CRT, working to adopt one, or having local school boards that criticize the CRT, including Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Kentucky, Utah and New Hampshire, Iowa, Arizona, Florida and Virginia.
âThe idea of ââa list of banned books in a school is dystopian and antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge, especially when these books aim to dismantle the power structures of racism,â said State Representative Brian Sims. (D-182nd Dist.), Co-chair of the LGBTQ + Equality Caucus. “Condemning and denigrating teachers for giving their students a comprehensive and informed view of the world is deeply unfair and has no place in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
“Even the idea of ââallowing us to protect our young minds to have the opportunity to learn more about our diverse and sometimes conflicting past goes against the core values ââof our society,” said the representative of the State and PLBC Secretary Carol Hill-Evans (D-York). “We should invest in an education system that enables honesty and the value of individual experiences, so that the next generation develops the American ideal of freedom of thought and expression.”
âWe are at a time when we are talking about the history of the United States through the prism of these writers from different backgrounds, and the people who oppose it don’t even know how the contributions of all these people and people they are talking about influencing their ancestors, their legacies and their travels in this country, âsaid State Representative Chris Rabb (D-200th Dist.). âCultures are intertwined, they evolve and they involve everyone. When someone says, “I’m color blind,” I say, “I’m so sorry. If you are color blind, you cannot see people of color. âAs a Pennsylvanian, as a lawmaker and as a father, I am so proud of the York County students who spoke out against the recent book ban,â added Rabb, a founding member of the House Democratic Equity Committee. “They inspire me to continue my advocacy for shared prosperity and justice for all.”