CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementary School in Massachusetts is facing backlash for declining a shipment of.
The school’s librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, wrote a lengthy editorial for the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog explaining why her school does not need the books.
The librarian’s school was among one from each state chosen to receive 10 Dr. Seuss books from the first lady for National Read a Book Day. But the librarian penned a letter for a blog saying her school has “plenty of resources” and doesn’t need the books. She called Dr. Seuss “a bit of a cliche.”
The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts – the hometown of Dr. Seuss (born Theodor Geisel) – was not amused.
“‘One fish – two fish – red fish – blue fish’ – I think her comments ‘stink’ and are ridiculous towards our beloved Dr. Seuss,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a press release Thursday evening, according to MassLive.com. “Her comments that this is ‘racist propaganda and that Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliche and a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature’ is ‘political correctness’ at its worst.”
Meanwhile, some users on Twitter were quick to criticize Soeiro:
However, CBS Boston reported that parents picking their children up outside the elementary school on Wednesday were quick to support the librarian.
“That’s the librarian’s prerogative and I support her decision,” parent Eric Munson said.
“I think the letter is really articulate, constructive in its suggestions,” said parent Alex Vanpraagh.
Cambridge Public Schools says the librarian’s editorial letter represented her opinions and was not an official statement on behalf of the school district.
The district says it has “counseled” Soeiro on its policies. It says her letter “was not a formal acceptance or rejection of donated books.”