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Alabama Officials Trash $16,500 in Teacher Manuals Because They Were too ‘Woke’: Report

Author: Christopher Wiggins

In Alabama, the Republican war on “woke” has cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

In a series of actions propelled by what officials considered too-progressive pre-K training manuals, books meant to help teachers, each priced at $165, were discarded at a recycling plant, marking a significant instance of waste within the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE).

A photo captured on May 2, as reported by AL.com, reveals over 100 such manuals scattered across the floor of a Montgomery waste recycling facility located a mere five miles away from the ADECE offices. AL.com estimates about $16,500 worth of books were there.

This incident unfolded a day after the departure of ADECE Secretary Barbara Cooper, who exited amid legislative pressures, according to the outlet.

The manuals, acquired from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), were not purposed as curriculum but envisioned as a tool to refine early childhood educators’ classroom skills. With a focus on urging educators to acknowledge their biases and comprehend students’ diverse cultural backgrounds, the manual’s fourth edition initially received praise from officials, including Cooper, who lauded its alignment with early learning practices.

However, a complaint from a lawmaker set a different narrative in motion, leading to the removal of these manuals and Cooper’s abrupt exit. The complaint stemmed from a document crafted by Rep. Jamie Kiel, which highlighted passages in the manual discussing systemic racism, white privilege, and LGBTQ+ families — topics deemed offensive by Kiel and his constituents, according to AL.com.

In response, Liz Filmore, anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff, sought a review of the materials from Cooper, expressing serious concerns over the complaint.

In a memo, Cooper denounced the books as “unacceptable,” urging staff to return them. The discourse escalated on April 21 when Ivey announced Cooper’s resignation, emphatically rejecting “woke concepts” in Alabama classrooms. Following a discussion regarding the department’s “direction,” a mutual agreement for Cooper’s departure was reached, as stated by Ivey.

The fallout from Cooper’s ousting leaves a veil of uncertainty over the tens of thousands of dollars spent on the manuals and other NAEYC products. The whereabouts or potential repurposing of these materials remain undisclosed.

Initial inquiries by AL.com to Gina Maiola, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, and Samuel Adams, a spokesman for ADECE, yielded no responses until a photo of the discarded books emerged, prompting Maiola to affirm the governor’s directive to discontinue the use of the book.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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