To Harcourt Brace and Company

Harcourt Brace and Company
6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, Florida 32887

Dear editors of United States Fifth Grade Textbook,

I am a fifth grader at La Escuela Fratney. I am 11 years old and I like to read andwrite. When I am reading I notice every little word and in your social studies book I realize that the word “racism” is not in your book. You’re acting like it is a bad word for those kids who read it. You act like the teachers are going to show it to little kindergartners. But children are going to hear the word “racism” some point in their life. Racism is badbecause it’s not fair and all people should be treated equally. It does not matter if you are any race. You should not talk about them because you’re different too. If you think it’s OK to be racist then you’re wrong. Remember the saying “treat people the way you want to betreated”. Students are going to hear the word “racism” in middle school and say, “Oh yeah I’ve heard the word. But I do not know what it means.” They might as well learn it in fifth grade than be in high school not even know what it means. All I’m saying is that youshould put the word “racism” in your social study books and explain why it’s bad.

I see that you do not mention that some of the presidents had slaves. But some ofthem did. Like George Washington had 317 slaves. So did Thomas Jefferson. He had 267 slaves. If you want to teach children the truth, then you should write the truth. The children should really know the truth about the Presidents. Or do you know the truth aboutthe Presidents? Did you know that some of the Presidents owned slaves? Because my classhas done research about the Presidents and slaves. We have found out that John Adam’s did not have no slaves. We have also found out that 10 out of 18 of the first Presidents did! In math we figured out that 69% of the years between 1789 and 1877 we had a Presi-dent who had been a slave owner.

So all that I ask of you is that when you write another social studies book please put the truth in the book so that most the kids who read it will know the truth. And can you put the word “racism” in the book also? Kids need to know what that means, too!


Michelle Williams
5th grade student
La Escuela Fratney
Room 35