District director for Florida State Fraternal Order of Police complains fictional book, Ghost Boys, is propaganda

“Our members feel that this book is propaganda that pushes an inaccurate and absurd stereotype of police officers in America,” Paul Kempinski wrote.

District director for Florida State Fraternal Order of Police District 5 Paul Kempinski wrote a letter to the Broward County School Board expressing his concerns about a fictional book titled, “Ghost Boys;”  he claims the book ‘was ‘propaganda’ against law enforcement.

Ghost Boys ‘was published in 2018 to wide industry acclaim for its “timely, challenging” subject matter. The story centers on Jerome, a 12-year-old Black boy in Chicago who is killed by a White police officer who sees the boy holding a toy gun — a plot that best-selling author Jewell Parker Rhodes said draws heavily on the real-life killing of Tamir Rice in 2014.’

According to The Washington Post, Kempinski learned about the book from one of his lodge brothers whose ‘child was assigned the reading in class and later spoke up about being uncomfortable with its subject matter.’ After reading the book, Kempinski concluded it ‘gives young readers a prejudiced view of police as ‘liars’ and ‘racists.’

“I think it really takes a very unfortunate and awful situation, where an officer uses deadly force, and makes it sound like something that all officers do daily,” he told The Post.

According to Broward County School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood, Ghost Boys never went through the district’s regular vetting process before Kempinski’s complaint, which resulted in the district choice to “pause” the use of the book pending review.

Other school districts across the country have also banned the book. Last year, Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District in the ‘wonderful’ Fresno area of California removed the book from ‘curriculum after a parent complained about the political views expressed in the book.’ 

Chicago Public Schools waged a similar battle after a historic police torture reparations ordinance passed in 2015. The ordinance made the history of how Chicago police systematically tortured more than 100 Black men and women over two decades part of the social studies curriculum for eighth- and 10th-graders.

As parents struggle to teach their children about systemic racism and police violence, conservative lawmakers want to ban the Critical Race Theory from public schools as well as the the New York Times’s “1619 Project.” Ghost Boys appears as something else they want to ‘cancel.’

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