YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — York County Libraries President Robert Lambert sent a letter reacting to Central York School District’s ban on books, movies and websites about race and racism, calling it an “unfortunate, misguided, and ill-fated scenario.”
In August, teachers were sent an email saying certain educational materials would be banned, including movies about slavery, articles about how to be anti-racist and other resources with many being written by black authors.
In outrage, students at Central York High School have worked together to protest the ban and say it will negatively affect their education.
In Lambert’s letter, he explains his disappointment with the school board over its ban on over 300 resources for all grade levels.
“Many of the subject matters are uplifting, affirming, and encouraging. Learning about human rights and learning about other peoples, cultures and perspectives are not political indoctrination. They are the lifeblood of our pluralism and our democratic republic. They are the oxygen for further questions and lifelong learning. They are the launching pad for a dynamic 21st century of diverse collaborations and problem-solving,” Lambert wrote.
Lambert says the library system will work to locate the listed materials so students can have access to them and will even utilize statewide interlibrary loans if a book isn’t physically available.
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York County Libraries want to use this moment to make communities “more aware and enlightened,” as well as continue promoting literacy and learning programs for all ages.
“Please join us in creating a free marketplace of literacy, lifelong learning and ideas. That’s what our libraries are all about,” Lambert said. “We can be better than the status quo. As informed citizens we will be stronger, smarter, and kinder.”
Central York School District Board member Veronica Gemma told abc27 the “freeze” on these materials from their diversity resources was because of concerns of what’s covered in them.
Gemma also said it is more of a “temporary hold” as the curriculum committee looks into the subject matter discussed in the resources, as well as waiting for their new superintendent to be included in the discussion.