The Monroe County Community School Corporation voted Tuesday night to officially end its contract with a textbook company that provided controversial social studies curriculum to schools.
The pamphlet from Studies Weekly aimed to teach children about slavery. One of the sections is titled “Cotton Pickin’ Singing.”
After several parents expressed concerns about the offensive material, MCCSC leaders held a meeting Monday night to apologize and discuss how the corporation selects curriculum. MCCSC also pulled all curriculum provided by the textbook company. The school board voted to officially end the corporation’s relationship with Studies Weekly during its meeting.
Several community members thanked MCCSC for its quick response to the controversy.
Martha Oakley is a member of Monroe County Showing Up For Racial Justice. She urged the school board to continue its efforts to address bias and improve training.
“Decades of social science research have shown us that even white people who mean the very best are likely to, unless we receive very good training, are likely to cause hurt to marginalized communities and to students of color in our classrooms,” Oakley says.
Ashley Pirani says she still has several questions for the board after attending the curriculum meeting earlier this week. She wants to know how MCCSC plans to continue addressing these issues in the future.
“The K-5 social studies was the only area that was addressed so far,” Pirani says. “White washing happens across all subject areas and all grade levels, and I’m wondering if MCCSC will be addressing all grade levels, including 6 through 12 grade, in that process.”
Board President Kelly Smith apologized on behalf of the board for the controversy.
MCCSC says it’s committed to improving diversity training and curriculum standards as a result of its conversations with community members.