ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A mom is outraged that her daughter was able to check out a book titled “Redneck Night Before Christmas” from her Rowan County elementary school’s library.
Channel 9 spoke to the parent who said she just wants to know how the book filled with Confederate flags got into Mount Ulla Elementary School in the first place.
Latoya Martin said her 8-year-old daughter came home from the school library with the book thinking it was a fun Christmas story to read with her family.
“This is the book,” Martin said. “This is the very first page and it broke my heart.”
She said the title was problematic enough, but then she flipped to the first page with shows a Santa figure carrying a big bag with a Confederate flag across it.
“Why would this book be at at the school?” Martin asked. “How did it go through so many hands, and how is it at my home now?”
But then she continued to flip through the pages and found a picture of a gun.
“Not only that, but the school had to see this because they put a Post-it note over it,” Martin said. “Here’s another one that they covered up as well.”
Martin said the sticky notes covering the Confederate flags in five of the illustrations tell her someone knew it would be offensive and left the book on the shelves anyway.
“How many homes has the book been in and nobody has reached out to the school?” Martin asked. “How did it come into my hands?”
In an email, the school’s principal told Martin she was shocked it was in the library as well. The school told Channel 9 it received the donated book at the beginning of the year from a school that had closed. They said they should have done a better job reviewing what was donated and will be better at screening books on their shelves.
Martin said it forced her to have a conversation with her daughter who, until now, had no idea what the Confederate flag was or the meaning behind it.
“She is the only African American in her class,” Martin said. “It makes me emotional as a parent. I want to protect my child and I want my child to be a kid, I don’t want them to have to worry about all of the hatred in the world.”
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