People are so sensitive nowadays. Is it because of technology? Political correctness? Either way, textbooks once considered staples in the classroom are under constant scrutiny.
This time, the U.N. had something to say about one Connecticut school district.
The Hour reports that the U.N. is praising the Norwalk schools for yanking “The Connecticut Adventure” out of 4th grade classrooms. A mother raised concerns about the textbook last month after reading its chapter on slavery. District officials opted to remove the social studies book by the start of the new year.
While some met the decision with shaking fists and utterances of social justice warriors, others see it as common sense.
Michael T. Conner, Chief Academic Officer for Norwalk Public Schools, notified parents of the matter last month. He, too, strongly disagreed with the book and wrote ,“The portion of the textbook minimizes the impact and implications of slavery from the perspective of many constituents in the Norwalk community.”
The book has been part of Norwalk’s curriculum since 2007.
Despite the controversy, feedback on the issue has been largely positive.
John Ifkovic published “The Connecticut Adventure” in 2001. Since then, critics have decried the text as “offensive.”
The major argument was over how Ifkovic characterized slavery. Ifkovic wrote that Connecticut slaves were treated “like members of the family.” The author also proclaimed slaves were taught about Christianity. He also claimed slaves were taught how to read and write.
Critics say Ifkovic’s claims are far from the truth.
One of those critic is Ricardo Sunga, chairman of the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. He says the textbook, “is a distortion of the true nature of enslavement.”
The U.N. human rights office in Geneva agreed, saying the book painted an “inaccurate picture” of how Connecticut slaves lived.
As for Norwalk’s decision to strike the book from its curriculum? The U.N. says Norwalk did the right thing. The panel also hopes more schools emulate Norwalk’s example.
So, was it right to yank the book from Norwalk’s curriculum? Or, are people too sensitive nowadays and it’s beginning to impact meaningful education?