Scholastic will be dropping its highly controversial “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” package following a fiery amount of backlash. Scholastic quickly backpedaled, sending an apologetic open letter on Wednesday, announcing that they’re discontinuing the collection.
“This fall, we made changes in our U.S. elementary school fairs out of concern for our Book Fair hosts. In doing this, we offered a collection of books to supplement the diverse collection of titles already available at the Scholastic Book Fair. We understand now that the separate nature of the collection has caused confusion and feelings of exclusion,” Scholastic wrote.
“We are working across Scholastic to find a better way. The Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice collection will not be offered with our next season in January. As we reconsider how to make our Book Fairs available to all kids, we will keep in mind the needs of our educators facing local content restrictions and the children we serve.”
Scholastic had implemented the policy as a reaction to the growing restrictions on diverse subjects material in books throughout the US. The package, which mainly included books with racial, disability and LGBTQ+ themes, was formatted separately in a way that allowed schools to decide whether or not to order it for Scholastic’s middle school book fairs.
Scholastic faced heavy backlash online due to basically making diverse books optional. Many racial justice and free speech advocacy groups like the National Black Justice Coalition condemned Scholastic and wished for them to take a firm stance against growing book bans.
“Censorship is anti-democratic and undermines one’s freedom to learn,” said the Coalition in a statement to ABC News. “We condemn Scholastic for its decision to segregate books on race, gender, and sexuality at book fairs in a disappointing effort to appease a loud minority using politics to attack children and public schools to turn out voters using ignorance, fear, and hate.”