Minneapolis Public Schools defended throwing out bins of books, claiming they no longer met “the guidelines for highest-quality books for our students.”
Parent Natalie Taylor was walking near Bryn Mawr Elementary School Wednesday when she spotted a mound of books — “piled high” — in the dumpster.
Bring Me the News reported “Where the Wild Things Are, Shel Silverstein works, educational books about nature and the outdoors” were found in the trash.
HELP SAVE THESE BOOKS FROM THE LANDFILL The dumpster by the Bryn Mawr Elementary playground in South Minneapolis is…
“I think there’s a lot of communities that could probably benefit from … these books and these resources,” Taylor told the news site after she posted photos on Facebook and encouraged residents to save them before they went to a landfill.
The school district defended tossing them out.
“This was unfortunate and we apologize for people thinking we don’t care about books,” Julie Schultz Brown, executive director of marketing and communications for Minneapolis Public Schools, said to Bring Me the News.
“We know our kids deserve the best quality books … and these books did not meet the guidelines for highest-quality books for our students.”
Brown said the school wanted to donate them to African children but “these Bryn Mawr books were not up to the donation standards.”
She added the school “did its best” to find a home for them.
According to PublicSchoolReview.com, Minneapolis Public Schools has a 42 percent reading proficiency rate. It was just 34 percent for black students and 38 percent for Hispanics. In 2018, school leaders called test results “disappointing, but not reflective of overall progress,” the Star Tribune reported.
The district indicated parents were uninformed about why the books were trashed, but admitted it needed “to do a better job of educating our community on why books need to be reviewed, removed, recycled and replaced, as well as the investments we’re making in our libraries.”
“We need to establish a better process for offering public access to partially damaged books or books that don’t meet our standards rather than just removing and recycling them,” a district statement said.
Facebook user Mary Andrews Hanson said nearly all of the books had been claimed by residents Thursday afternoon.