Muskego educators stopped from teaching book about WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans

"When the Emperor was Divine" book cover

The reading list for a Muskego High School English class has become a national talking point after district leaders said staff had to reconsider their selection of a book that delves into the U.S. incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

District leaders have denied interview requests and issued a vague statement about why the book, “When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka, isn’t moving forward as part of the Accelerated English curriculum. They said staff had to start over their process for choosing a new book for the class.

In recent weeks, more than 100 parents and others have signed a petition asking the district to accept the book. National organizations and Otsuka herself have weighed in about the value of the text.

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