The Peel School District is a 156k-student district in Ontario. Recently, the government of Ontario called for schools to launch a “comprehensive diversity audit.” As a result of the “diversity audit” launched in the Peel School District, some schools began removing every single book from their school libraries that was published before 2008.
After major public outrage, School Board Chair David Green said the mass removal of the books was a “miscommunication.” He says schools were only supposed to remove some books.
Green says he wanted “a weedin” of books that “are not relevant to the teaching environment today.” He also admits to having a racial motive. Green, who is Black, wanted schools to look for books that do not “support marginalized or indigenous students.”
He claims that some schools took his orders too literally and began purging all books older than fifteen years. Stephen Lecce, the Ontario Minister of Education, also claims this is not what he had in mind when his ministry called for “comprehensive diversity audits.” Lecce, who is Jewish, was particularly outraged that books on the holocaust were removed
The removal of books is a key component of the implementation of Critical Theory. However, it is usually carried out slowly in phases. The Peel School Board tried to do this too fast, prompting immediate outrage from various groups.
As far as we know, this was the most extensive mass purge of school library books carried out in the Western world in modern history.