On Thursday, CNN reported that a move by the Central York school district in southern Pennsylvania to restrict anti-racist books, including by some authors of color, has been reversed after a sharp backlash from the students.
"Last year, the all-White school board unanimously banned a list of educational resources that included a children's book about Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai's autobiography, and CNN's Sesame Street town hall on racism," reported Mirna Alsharif and Liam Reilly. "School officials had said that the materials had not been banned, but were 'frozen' while the board vetted them. But that process took nearly a year."
After that decision, said the report, students leapt into action.
Ben Hodges, a Central York High School teacher, told CNN that five students at his school organized a peaceful walk-in protest "to help make sure that our district heard that they (and many others) did not feel represented by this resource ban."
Hodges also told the network how proud he was of these students.
"They are heroes and should be celebrated as bastions of American freedom and democracy," he said. "I want to be clear, these kids did this."
In the past year, school districts have erupted in turmoil as right-wing activists have sought to stop the teaching of "critical race theory" — a social theory of systemic racism that is virtually never taught in K-12 schools in the first place. School officials have been targeted for even discussing racism at all, including a Black principal in the Dallas, Texas area.