Wisconsin school board members dismissed book about Japanese American incarceration as being ‘unbalanced,’ parents say

White Supremacist attacks on teaching U.S. history continue

Racists attack Japanese American History in Wisconsin

June 30, 2022, 11:26 AM PDT

By Kimmy Yam

Parents are pushing back after a committee whose members sit on a Wisconsin school board did not move forward with approving a book about Japanese American incarceration during World War II for a sophomore English literature class.

Muskego-Norway School Board members said including the book would require “balance” with perspective from the U.S. government, according to two parents in the district. They also said that minutes of a heated meeting with board members about the topic were not posted and that a video of another board meeting was reportedly edited.

As of Thursday, almost 200 parents, alumni, community members and staffers of the Waukesha County district had signed a petition demanding the committee reconsider Julie Otsuka’s book — “When the Emperor Was Divine” — which was not moved forward during the early stages of the approval process June 13. 

Board members also reportedly said a book cannot be chosen for the sake of adding diversity to the curriculum, said the parents, who spoke with board members and attended the school board meeting this month.