June 22, 2016 – What’s happening in Orlando, disinvited authors, filtering, bullying laws and much more.
Dear Round Rock ISD, You recently disinvited author Phil Bildner from speaking to your schools about children’s books that promote tolerance, compassion, empathy, and friendship. Your administrators say it was because of a comment Phil made during several presentations he gave to your students last year.
As authors, librarians, teachers, and parents talk about cancelled school visits, there has been a lot of speculation and very few answers. This post includes the official statement from the Round Rock Independent School District and Phil’s response to the statement with his account of the details and staff comments leading up to his disinvitation.
There’s an empathy portion of my school visit presentations. We talk about characters who are different than us. Look different. Believe different things. Dress differently. Because when we read, we develop a better understanding of the human experience. I booktalked George to fourth graders at six schools and to a combined assembly of third and fifth graders at another. I shared with the kids the book’s most basic and beautiful message. Be who you are.