Summary: Scholastic Inc. has announced that it will no longer implement a controversial policy that allowed school book fairs to exclude books with themes related to race, disability, and LGBTQ+. The decision, which received significant backlash from authors and educators, was made in response to state restrictions but was criticized for promoting exclusion. Scholastic will discontinue the policy and work on finding a better approach for future book fairs.
Controversial Policy Sparks Outrage
Scholastic Inc., a prominent children’s publisher, has faced criticism for its policy that allowed school book fairs to opt out of selling books with themes centered around race, disability, and LGBTQ+. This decision, which was made to address new state restrictions, drew widespread outrage from authors and educators who viewed it as a form of exclusion.
Separate Package of Books Added to Fairs
As part of the policy, Scholastic created a separate package of books titled “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice.” This collection featured dozens of titles that focused on inclusivity and diversity. However, schools were given the choice of whether to include this collection in their book fairs. This move sparked further anger and disappointment among authors and educators, including poet Amanda Gorman, who expressed her feelings of betrayal in an Instagram video.
Scholastic Acknowledges Mistake
In response to the public outcry, Scholastic has acknowledged its mistake and announced that it will discontinue the policy. The company recognized that the separate nature of the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection caused confusion and feelings of exclusion. Scholastic issued a statement expressing its commitment to finding a better way forward and ensuring that its book fairs are accessible to all children.
Future Strategy Under Consideration
While Scholastic will keep the current policy in place for the rest of the year, the publisher has not yet determined its approach for 2024 and beyond. The company is actively working on developing a new strategy that takes into account the needs of educators facing local content restrictions and the diverse children it serves. Scholastic aims to create book fairs that are inclusive and provide a wide range of titles for all students.
Tags: Scholastic Inc., book fairs, diverse books, exclusion, controversy