A Pennsylvania school board reversed its ban on anti-racist books after weeks of student protests

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A Pennsylvania school board reversed its ban on anti-racist books after weeks of student protests
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  • A Pennsylvania school board rescinded its ban on anti-racist articles and teaching materials.
  • Students at Central York High School protested the decision outside of the school for weeks.
  • The school board said the ban was a misunderstanding but originally said it didn't want students indoctrinated.

For weeks, students gathered outside of Central York High School each morning to protest a district ban on the use of anti-racism-related resources in the classroom. On Monday, the Central York School Board acquiesced and unanimously voted to rescind the ban.

"It hurts me to see my peers learning inaccurate things, or not enough things, or a half-right and half-wrong view of history," Edha Gupta, a senior at the school, told WITF. She helped organize the Panther Anti-Racist Student Union's protests against the ban.

Parents and alumni in the district also rallied against the ban, and Monday night, they made their opinions known, calling for the school board's resignation.

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@edhagupta

PLEASE GET THE WORD OUT! ##enoughisenoughcysd ##centralyorkbookban

♬ original sound - Edha Gupta

"I don't understand what you guys are trying to accomplish," Sean Hightower said at Monday's meeting, according to the York Daily Record. "How is what you guys are doing not unethical and immoral?"

The school board said the ban was a misunderstanding, that the prohibited materials weren't removed from school libraries. Board president Jane Johnson said in a statement at Monday's board meeting that the school board had originally planned to review the list of prohibited materials "expeditiously" but failed.

In August 2020, the Central York School Board forbade its teachers from using a list of videos, books, documentaries, and articles that addressed issues of racial equality after some teachers had begun teaching about "white privilege" and "anti-racism" after a summer of Black Lives Matter protests.

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Johnson said in a previous statement that the school board did not want its students indoctrinated by "any political or social agenda."

Nathan Grove, a graduate of Central York High School, congratulated the school board on Monday night for making history in spite of its original ban.

"You've accomplished something," Grove said, according to the Daily Record. "CNN's Don Lemon and Fox News' Brian Kilmeade agreed on something. They both said banning books is wrong. You're bringing the country together."

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