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Students and Teachers Fight Back Against Book Banning in Central York, with Christina Ellis and Ben Hodge
"My wife looked at me & said 'Are you willing to lose your job over this?' I said yes...I would've been ok with losing my job over - standing up for civil rights & standing up for human rights."
In the latest episode of The Signal, I speak with Central York student leader Christina Ellis and teacher Ben Hodge about how and why students and teachers must organize and mobilize themselves and the larger community to resist book bans and other reactionary right-wing assaults on public education. After their organizing and protests helped overturn a racist book and resource ban that Pennsylvania’s Central York School District’s all-white, right-wing school board put in place because they believed resources like a Sesame Street town hall on racism and books such as “Who is Rosa Parks?” and “The Hate U Give” were just too subversive, they’re back at it again with new books in the crosshairs. Christina and Ben share their story – and vision, strategies, and tactics – that communities across the country can adopt.
5 Reading Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue:
Why Diversity in Education Matters, by Christina Ellis
Q&A with Central York Student Organizer Edha Gupta, by Cyril Mychalejko