LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Who knew there would be controversy on Read Across America Day? The celebration of literature falls on the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.
This year a Northern Virginia school district is being accused of “cancelling” the author and his books.
Several national media outlets claimed Loudoun County Public Schools are trying to erase Dr. Seuss from the reading celebration over racial undertones in his books.
Did Loudoun County Public Schools ban Dr. Seuss books?
Loudoun County Public Schools and a 2019 study from University of California, San Diego.
What We Found:
Loudoun County Public Schools sent us a statement that said in part:
“Dr. Seuss books have not been banned and are available to students in our libraries and classrooms, however, Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of Read Across America Day.”
So, its’s clear Dr. Seuss hasn’t been banned in Loudoun County schools.
However, the district has moved away from associating him with the reading celebration.
This goes back to a 2019 study on diversity and racism in Dr. Seuss’ books published by the University of California, San Diego. In this study researchers found:
“…of the 2,240 (identified) human characters, there are forty-five characters of color representing 2% of the total number of human characters.”
The study also said those characters of color showcase either stereotypes or racists undertones.
Which led Loudoun County Public Schools to write:
“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.”
No, Loudoun County schools didn’t ban Dr. Seuss, but they have emphasized not associating the reading celebration with the author.