A Wake County elementary school is facing opposition from conservative groups for teaching two books that they say contain age-inappropriate material on the Black Panthers, police brutality and illegal immigration.
Bob Luebke, senior policy analyst at the right-leaning Civitas Insitute, wrote in a blog post that the books "One Crazy Summer" and "Esperanza Rising" should not be taught in a class of highly impressionable fourth graders. He said although school officials repeatedly said the texts are appropriate for children on the “cusp” of adolescence, children who are four years from being a teenager do not fit in this category.
Matt Ellinwood, education analyst at the left-leaning N.C. Justice Center, said to limit books based on personal beliefs is worrisome.
“We want to expose children to a lot of different things, and teachers are in the best place to determine and decide what is best for the children," he said.
Lisa Luten, spokeswoman for the Wake County Public School System, said the books were not required reading at Highcroft Drive Elementary School — students were divided into groups where each group was assigned to read and discuss a different book.