Virginia School District Stops Celebrating Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day Because of the “Racial Undertones” in His Books
The Loudoun County School District in northern Virginia has stopped celebrating Dr. Seuss during Read Across America Day because of the “strong racial undertones” in some of his books.
“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Examples include anti-Japanese American political cartoons and cartoons depicting African Americans for sale captioned with offensive language,” the district wrote in a statement.
“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. Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of ‘Read Across America Day’ in Loudoun County Public Schools,” the statement added.
To be clear, this does not mean that Loudoun County School District is outright banning Dr. Seuss’ books. They are still available for children to read in their libraries and classrooms.
Read Across America Day is celebrated every year on March 2, the day of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and many schools across the country celebrate National Reading Month every March.
The National Education Association, which created National Reading Month and Read Across America Day, started to distance themselves from explicit promotion of Dr. Seuss in 2017 and now promotes non-white authors who write books about “racial justice,” “inclusivity,” and so on.
Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, worked as a political cartoonist in addition to illustrating and writing children’s books. Interestingly enough, Geisel was a passionate supporter of FDR and a lifelong liberal Democrat.