On June 7, the Collier County School Board (CCSB) convened a hearing to discuss the textbooks being considered for adoption for use in their school districts. However, when it was exposed that one of the publishers of the textbooks being considered—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)—had posted a “commitment” to Black Lives Matter (BLM) on their website, the board unanimously voted to postpone their decision until that revelation could be investigated.
Approximately 60 people attended the hearing. The vast majority being parents and other citizens who came to express their fierce opposition to the textbooks the board proposed to adopt, out of fear they contained principles of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Ironically, it was CCSB Vice-Chair Jen Mitchell—not one of the hearing’s attendees nor the 15 citizens who registered to address the board directly—who exposed the incendiary content she found on the HMH website.
Mitchell said she learned of the content through an email she received from a concerned citizen. The citizen told her “if you take a deeper dive” on the HMH website, you will find a post declaring their “commitment” to Black Lives Matter (BLM). She further revealed to Mitchell that one of BLM’s greatest advocates in the education field—Dr. Tyrone Howard—had been given a platform to promote the principles of CRT and his support for BLM through the HMH blog site.
“It’s also important that the teachers, schools, and readers we serve have no doubt about where we stand on the issue of racism and the ways we are using our platform to make much-needed change,” Mitchell quoted directly from the HMH website. “That’s why today we posted our commitment. Black Lives Matter.”
“We believe Black Lives Matter,” the HMH declaration states further. “We believe in social justice. We believe learning is a fundamental right. We believe the education system needs to change, and we will continue to use our platform to make that change.”