Insensitivity and indifference to racism seem to be deeply embedded in the Republican Party. Especially, though not exclusively, in the South.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey just forced Secretary of Early Childhood Education Barbara Cooper to resign over a book designed to train teachers to be aware of the different backgrounds and challenges of their students.

In a Friday afternoon news release, Gina Maiola, communications director for the governor’s office, said Ivey had accepted Cooper’s resignation after learning of a pre-K educator resource book that included “woke concepts.”

The book is the National Association for the Education of Young Children Developmentally Appropriate Practice Book, 4th Edition. It focuses on teaching children up to age of 8.

Cooper was unable to be reached Friday afternoon. The NAEYC said in a statement Friday evening that the program had been used for almost four decades and served as “the foundation for high-quality early childhood education across states and communities.”

“While not a curriculum, it is a responsive, educator-developed, educator-informed, and research-based resource that has been honed over multiple generations to support teachers in helping all children thrive and reach their full potential, ” the statement said. “Building on the good work that is happening in states and communities, NAEYC looks forward to continuing its partnership with families, educators, and policymakers to further our shared goals of offering joyful learning environments that see, support, and reflect all children and their families.”

In her email, Maiola said the governor’s office received a complaint about the book teaching white privilege, structural racism and messaging promoting “equality, dignity and worth” around LGBTQIA+ identities.

An Alabama Reflector review of the book, running over 800 pages in electronic form, found it focused on encouraging teachers to be aware of inequities, implicit bias and the diverse backgrounds of children in order to be better teachers and create welcoming environments for their students.

The book does not appear to tell teachers to discuss these issues with children directly.

“Teachers need to be particularly aware of providing supporting environments and responses to children who are members of marginalized groups and those who have been targets of bias and stereotyping,” one passage said.

Please open the link and read the rest of this shameful episode.