Yesterday, First Lady Melania Trump visited elementary schools throughout Massachusetts. In observance of National Read A Book Day, Melania gifted schools with several classic Dr. Seuss books.
First Lady Melania included a letter with the donation. She explained that she has read Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" multiple times with her son and that the gift represents the fact that students can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Melania's kind gesture was quickly overlooked by one school's librarian, who thought that the gift was too "cliche." Librarian Liz Phipps Soerio returned the books and wrote a letter to express her criticism.
She said, "My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips.”
Soerio also claimed that Dr. Seuss books are laced with "racial propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes." She said that the First Lady's decision to promote those particular books to that particular school was a prime example of white supremacy in education.
Many people have responded to the situation with the majority siding with Melania. Earlier today, pictures circulated of Soerio celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday two years ago, causing her to appear hypocritical.
Later, the mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts, which was Dr. Suess's hometown, invited the entire Trump family to visit the Dr. Seuss museum. He said that the books were a perfectly acceptable and generous gift.
Today, Melania Trump's team spoke out about the controversy. Stephanie Grisham, the director of communications for Melania, made a statement to Fox News.
Grisham said, "She has demonstrated [her passion to help children] in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to children across the country is but one example. To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere."
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