Textbook that says some slaves treated like family is pulled - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Textbook that says some slaves treated like family is pulled

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)

A social studies textbook that says some slaves in Connecticut were cared for like family members is being pulled from fourth-grade classrooms in Norwalk.

Norwalk public school officials said they began reviewing the book, "The Connecticut Adventure," after a parent raised concerns last month about its depiction of slavery.

"Last week, Norwalk Public Schools became aware of concerns regarding an insensitive comment in a Grade 4 Social Studies textbook. After an internal review of the book and how it explicitly addressed slavery in Connecticut, we have deemed the content in the textbook inaccurate. The content is simplistic, insensitive, and can be regarded as offensive to many. The portion within the textbook minimizes the impact and implications of slavery," Brenda Wilcox Williams, who is the chief communications officer for Norwalk Public Schools, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Hearst Connecticut Media (http://bit.ly/2hgHd4M) reports the district's chief academic officer, Michael Conner, said in a letter to parents that the textbook minimizes the impact and implications of slavery.

The book by John W. Ifkovic was published in 2001 by Gibbs Smith Publishing. In a chapter on slavery in Connecticut, the book says, "Compared to other colonies, Connecticut did not have many slaves. Some people owned one or two slaves. They often cared for and protected them like members of the family."

"Because of the nature of the content and the negative implications it can have on student learning, Norwalk Public Schools will discontinue the use of this textbook effective January 3, 2017. An Elementary Integration Committee made up of central office administrators and Curriculum Instruction Site Directors will work during the month of December to incorporate different Social Studies resources into our Connecticut history studies for fourth grade," Williams' statement went on to say. 

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