Wednesday, April 19, 2006
"Vamos a Cuba" to remain in Miami-Dade County schools
The Bradenton Herald
Posted on Wed, Apr. 19, 2006
MIAMI - School officials have ruled that a children's book about traveling to Cuba should remain in Miami-Dade County school, despite a parent's complaint that the book does not depict an accurate life in Cuba.
The Miami-Dade School Board voted 6-3 Tuesday against removing the Spanish-language book, "Vamos a Cuba" or "A Visit to Cuba" from library shelves. The book, by Alta Schreier, contains images of smiling children wearing uniforms of Cuba's communist youth group and a carnival celebrating the Cuban revolution of 1959, said Joseph Garcia, a spokesman for the school district.
"I am not willing to spend a quarter of a million dollars on money that should be spent in the classroom to litigate an issue that is well-established in the law of this country," board member Evelyn Greer said.
Fellow board member Frank Bolanos said the book violates district standards.
"It is full of biases, prejudices, distortions and stereotypes," he said.
Marta Perez also voted to remove the book. She compared it to "pornography" and "books about devil worship," which she said would not appear in any school library.
The decision can be appealed to a 17-member committee appointed by Superintendent Rudy Crew.
The issue surfaced earlier this month when a parent at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary complained about its depiction of Cuba under Fidel Castro.
Juan Amador, an immigrant from Cuba, said he finds the material to be untruthful and it exemplifies a Cuba "that does not exist."
His son, Juan Amador Rodriguez, spoke through a translator at Tuesday's meeting about his experience of growing up in Cuba.
"The smile on the faces of those children, I never had," Rodriguez said.
Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com