Latoya Martin, from Rowan County, said her 8-year-old brought home a book titled “Redneck Night Before Christmas” to read with her family.
“It broke my heart,” Martin said.
She said the book from Mount Ulla Elementary School’s library showed at least five images of the Confederate flag and a man holding a gun.
Martin said the flags drawn across Santa’s sack were covered with Post-it Notes, which tells her that someone knew it would be offensive but left it on the school’s shelves anyway.
“How many homes has the book been in and nobody has reached out to the school?” she said. “How did it come into my hands?”
In an email, the school’s principal told Martin that she was shocked to learn that this book was in the library as well. The principal said Mount Ulla Elementary received the donated book at the beginning of the year from another school that closed down.
The principal also acknowledged that the school should have been more proactive in screening donated books and reviewing items on library shelves.
Martin said the incident has led to a conversation with her daughter, who, until now, had no idea what the Confederate flag represents.
“She is the only African American in her class … It makes me emotional because as a parent, I want to protect my child, and I want my child to be a kid,” she said. “I don’t want them to have to worry about all of the hatred in the world.”
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