North Attleboro Council member Darius Gregory expressed strong emotions during a town council meeting regarding removing the book "Woke, A Young Poet's Call To Justice" from the Martin Elementary School's library.
Gregory, the only Black member present, felt unsupported and embarrassed by the decision, emphasizing that it likely made students in the schools feel unsupported as well. The book is a collection of poems by women of color addressing issues like discrimination and diversity.
The decision to remove the book stemmed from a parent's request last spring, but it faced opposition from town council members. Gregory protested the book's banning by walking out during the meeting.
However, after a private meeting with North Attleboro Superintendent John Antonucci, the superintendent announced that the book would be restored to the library. Antonucci clarified that the book wasn't technically banned but would be used in a facilitated or structured manner due to age-appropriateness concerns.
School committee Chairwoman Tasha Buzzell admitted procedural failures in handling the controversy but believed restoring the book was the right decision. Gregory credited his platform for the book's return, and the school committee plans to discuss the matter further during their next meeting on February 6.
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