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Sunday, January 22, 2023

DCPS starts telling teachers to close classroom libraries.

First it seems like it is being done in a hodge podge fashion. Some schools yes, some schools no.  

This was forwarded to me.

So I asked on Facebook and twitter

DCPS teacher friends, have any of you been told to get rid of your classroom libraries/curtail them in any way? You can private message me. It's for a story, and I can keep names out of it.

And where some teachers reported no, many of the other resppnces were heartbreaking,

Here are a few I received and I have scrubbed them of names and schools because like usual teachers are afraid of reprecussions which is a totally different but just as heart breaking story.

Hey Chris. Saw your post about libraries. XXXXX in the district and didn’t want to write on the post, you know how it is. My principal must have received recent updates on the library situation because she was super nervous this week about it and asking XXXXX to check all the class libraries again. Not sure what the messaging is from the higher ups but the principals are really feeling it.

I will be packing up my classroom library on Monday. I just can't risk getting in trouble.

I also teach XXXX. We have been instructed to only use materials that are listed in the curriculum guide (which have been approved by the district). This hamstring approach is severely limiting our ability to have clear, quality instruction and provide differentiated instruction. There are zero instructional materials approved to use for my new-comer ell students other than a word to word translation hard cover dictionary. No videos, etc.

Good afternoon- I saw your post about classroom libraries- I would prefer to remain anonymous- I work at XXXX- I in the past have sent home bags of books so students could read for their homework book logs. I just took over a XXXX class & planned on doing this…. Until my principal said - I wouldn’t … we will have our official meeting during early release this week about the 3rd degree felony charges that can be brought against us.. I am curious if I can type up a statement for parents to sign - before I send home a bag of books- that will hold me and the school harmless- I just want to get books in the hands of young readers to practice reading- I am not trying to indoctrinate children- I’ve been teaching for over 20 years in this county- & good grief!! To see what is happening makes me want to get out!!!

My XXXX told me that this past week under the cover of the darkness of night all the Safe Space stickers were removed from the doors and classrooms of DA. She called me Friday and told me she was terrified. It is so sad to the authoritarian takeover.

We were told yesterday…all classroom libraries needed to be put away. The only books we can have are books that came with Benchmark Advance. We were also told that students could no longer check books out from the media center.

I cried in front of my kids as I collected my classroom library books from them to box up. You KNOW my love for books!

We got an email from our principal telling us to remove the books from our libraries unless they are from the curriculum or on the approved book list we were sent.

Supposedly Greene met with principals and advised them that they would lose their jobs if their teachers were reading anything controversial. We are (again, supposedly) waiting for some kind of additional step, either requiring media specialists to approve each book and/or having to electronically scan books to see if they are on an approved list.

insane at the elementary level. Many titles provided by the district are now banned for no more reason than “diverse characters.”

 Yes 😭 

Yes. Cover it up until they can decide how they are going to handle approving all of the books. All based on the house bill I believe. Many elementary schools don’t even have a media specialist right now to approve books. And honestly, who would want that job now?

So, yes the state sucks, yes the state is horrible and I don't think this would be happening if it wasn't for the slate of terrible laws the state has passed, but all that being said, the superintendent and school board are just as bad, just as culpable if they allow it to happen without speaking up. 


  1. It probably goes without saying but most middle & high schools have eliminated media specialists in favor of testing coordinators. And this was pre-Covid. Since then these
    library collections have been gutted to make way for laptop stations and furniture.

  2. At first this school year we the media specialists were told that we couldn't have Book Fairs. Now we can have them but there are all kinds of contradictory instructions about it.