First Lady Melania Trump celebrated “National Read a Book Day” by sending a box of ten Dr. Seuss books to one high-achieving school in each state.
Liz Phipps Soeiro, head librarian at the selected primary school in Massachusetts, responded to the gift with a nasty letter to Mrs. Trump:
“You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature,” writes Soeiro.
Apparently, the classics aren’t good enough for this librarian.
“Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?” she continues. “You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them.”
Soeiro criticized the Dr. Seuss books as “racist propaganda,” pointing to farfetched examples of racist undertones in “Cat in the Hat,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” and “If I Ran a Zoo.”
Despite her current claims about racism, Soeiro has celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with students in the past. The picture at the top of this article is from a twitter post dated March 3rd, 2015. Soeiro is the one holding the “Cat in the Hat” doll.
The twitter message reads: “Happy birthday Dr. Seuss! K and 1 celebrated with a green egg breakfast!”
In other words, Soeiro doesn’t seem to have a problem with Dr. Seuss. She has a problem with the Trump Administration – and that’s fine – but it still doesn’t give her the right to reject Melania’s gift or the right to claim that one of America’s favorite children’s authors was racist.
Mrs. Trump was disappointed by Soeiro’s behavior but was not tricked into an angry response. “Turning the gesture of sending young school children books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere,” reads a statement released by the White House.
In the meantime, Cambridgeport Primary School was quick to clarify that Soeiro was “not authorized to accept or reject books on behalf of the school or school district” and noted that she had been “counseled” on the incident.
What kind of librarian values politics over children’s books?
Soeiro should be fired. This is not the type of person we want around our kids.
I’d also like to point out that Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Barbara Bush all read Dr. Seuss books to children.
“I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to ‘excellence,’” bragged Soeiro. “My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science.”
If Soeiro is really that concerned with helping needy schools, she could easily have accepted the gift and donated it to another school.
Editor’s note: This is an example of the kind of teachers our colleges are putting out right now. It is unbelievable that this person would show such rudeness, bias and hypocrisy.