Young teacher reading book to children in library of elementary school

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Children's Book Sparks Controversy at O'Fallon School Board Meeting

May 15, 2018 - 7:04 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A children's book is at the center of a controversy that could pack the house during Tuesday’s school board meeting in O'Fallon Illinois.

School board member Steve Springer complained that it was "totally inappropriate" for the book "Justice Makes A Difference" to be read to children at the O'Fallon public library recently. Springer said the books smacked of "social indoctrination" and they should have catered to the "entire community".

The protagonist is a young African American girl who calls herself Miss Freedom Fighter.

Patrick Lawler started a Facebook page to rally opposition to Springer's stance.

“In my 12 years as a social studies education, I’ve never heard the concept social justice depicted in a negative manner,” he says.

Lawler says that based on response to his Facebook post, it's possible that 200 or more people will turn out for tonight's school board meeting at Fulton Jr. High.

“You would single out a program and a book highlighting the inspirational stories of people of color and argue against it, in front of the city council no less. If that’s not highly suspect, then I don’t know what is,” Lawler says.