dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsChildren must see themselves as who they can become

What makes us know we’re A-OK? What helps our children operate with high self-esteem?

The books they read have a high impact on their self image. At an early age, schoolbooks help teach them who they are and who they can become.

What should we expect to find when we pick up a book assigned to eager young learners?

I’d say a simple answer to this might be “positive information, positive images and a view on the pages – both graphics and text – that make the book a treasure that the youngster can relate to in a variety of ways.”

But not so fast, Ms Shirlee. Answers to such questions aren’t always how you’d like them to be.

A Utah book publishing company sees things quite differently and, of course, based on their views, not mine, developed a series of stories for elementary grades that are far from my mark when it comes to children feeling good about their chances in life.

One title, “Lazy Lucy,” is about a young black girl in an unspecified area of Africa who struggles with keeping her hut clean. An American Indian girl and her father, dressed in brown clothing and headbands, set off to hunt a woolly mammoth in “Nieko, the Hunting Girl.” The book “Kenya” introduces the country and its residents with tidbits like “Kenyans are able to run very fast.”

Our children cannot be stifled in their view of the world and where they fit in based on stereotypical images.

The Minneapolis School District, one district, which purchased the ill-conceived publications has returned the books along with a demand for a refund.

Read the full story!












This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Bill Allen, Jr.

    Dear Wonderful Shirlee,

    I am seething after reading this. As usual, you blog “tells it like is”…but unfortunately —-how it really should NOT be.
    At the epoch of this new school year, your information is so very timely! Leave it to YOU, Shirlee, to keep us accurately informed about the abysmal ways in which this society tries to UNDERMINE the education of children of color or poor children’s growth-potential, denigrating positive self-esteeming tactics, and providing unequal/discriminatory two-tier educational systems (which will ultimately result in lower-paying jobs / lesser quality of living / spousal or domestic abuse issues /potentially earlier demises or unfortunately, prison environments because of a poor social disenfranchising projector y). The state of Utah promoting this gross psychological manipulation of children (of color and of poor children)—-definitely does NOT surprise me! Having just recently been invited to U.S.C. to preview a film screening (Peace Officer Documentary opening in L.A. this Friday at a selected theater)—- of Utah’s “structural” usage of its militarization of its SWAT Teams & police departments; then it would stand to reason that Utah would want to authorize these “colorful” depictions in text books, that so blasphemously disrespect children of varying cultures. What century are we living in again? Thanks again, Shirlee.
    Bill Allen, Jr.

  2. Jean Troy

    AS I’m discovering the racist and biggot views of others seems to be every where. Maybe it was there when I grew up but I guess my parents sheilded me from these stories. I remember reading “Little Black Sambo” but I didn’t see it as racest I saw it as a story about a young boy who loved pancakes. So I would need to read the books to make a diffinite decision about the books, but I can believe that with the enviroment of our country this type of issue seems to be continuing; yet to our credit people are becoming more vigilent every day.

  3. -Nate

    Children are like sponges ~ they absorb whatever you expose them to so be very careful about what you say and do in front of Children , you might be surprised at the things coming out of their mouths .


  4. Florence

    Spreading the word about the company and their outrageous books is really important. Obviously, some school board members spend money with companies that have gotten the “faith-based, Christian faith-based” seal of approval. No further examination seems necessary to them. What a way to buy curriculum!

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