School decides to read book on Black astronaut to all students after parent complains about it

Instead of giving in to the complaint by a parent in the Rockwood School District, the book will now be read to the entire elementary school.

Brian Kelly
September 04, 2020 - 9:45 am
Categories: 

WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) - The Rockwood School District is responding to a parent's complaint about a book that was read to a second-grade class, by having it read to the entire school. 

The book is called "Ron's Big Mission," written about Astronaut Ron McNair – the only Black member of the 1986 NASA Challenger crew. The book focuses on his fight to get a library card in segregated South Carolina when he was a kid growing up there in the 1950s.

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But it apparently didn't sit well with one parent of Pond Elementary School.

After hearing it read to her 7-year-old during an online video chat, the parent urged other parents to "preview what we are letting the kids see on there." The statement was posted in a Facebook group for Concerned Parents of the Rockwood School District. The parent said she called the school about it. 

Post by parent regarding book by African-American Astronaut Ron McNair
from Facebook

Rockwood Education Equity and Diversity Director Brittany Hogan says the response from other parents supporting the book was immediate.

"They were saying this is amazing that they were buying copies of the book," Hogan says. "One of our parents came out and said she was going to purchase a copy for every second-grader at the elementary school that her children attends."

Hogan calls McNair, who died along with the rest of the crew in the Challenger explosion in 1986, a hero.

"He deserves to be celebrated. His story deserves to be told to our children," Hogan says. "It's important that we continue to move in a space that embeds diverse curriculum." 

In reaction to the complaint, Pond Elementary School principal Carlos Diaz-Granados will read the book, on Zoom, to the entire student body next Wednesday afternoon.

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