CBLDF has joined with the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) to oppose the ban of an editorial cartoon created by David Fitzsimmons. The cartoon was used as part of an assignment at Raymond Cooper Junior High School in Wylie, Texas.
The cartoon, which criticizes the use of violence against Black people, was used as part of an assignment to encourage students to “discuss how and whether the actions of U.S. citizens and the local, state, and federal government have achieved the ideals espoused in the founding documents,” which is a part of the established curriculum in Texas. Fitzsimmons noted the cartoon “diagrams the historic roots of our systemic racism.”
On August 19, the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) issued a statement asking that the assignment and cartoon be withdrawn and that each family who viewed the cartoon be issued an apology. The FOP declared the piece to be both “abhorrent and disturbing.” The Wylie Independent School District complied with the request by removing the class assignment and issuing an apology.
On August 26, NCAC, along with ten other organizations, including CBLDF, signed a letter protesting the removal of the assignment. Allowing members of the community to dictate what may or may not be taught in schools sets a dangerous precedent. The letter is a call for the school district to guarantee teachers the freedom to do their jobs without the fear of political censorship.
Please read the full letter below.