The Fraternal Of Police (FOP) District 5 wants to know why fifth graders in Broward public schools are reading an anti-police social justice novel. In a thoughtful letter to the School Board of Broward County, District 5 Director Paul Kempinski says he was upset to learn local students were reading Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. The fictional story deals with the ghost of a dead child speaking to the young daughter of a Chicago policeman. The boy was killed by the policeman who believed the boy was holding a gun.
According to Kempinski, the dead boy convinces the girl that her father shot and killed him because he is “a liar and a racist.” He believes the message of the novel is “police officers regularly lie as they routinely murder children, while painting police officers as racists.” Kempinski notes the book fails to explore the bullying in school which leads to the boy bringing a toy gun to school.
Kempinski states his membership believes Ghost Boys is “propaganda that pushes an inaccurate and absurd stereotype of police officers in America.” He states the novel blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction with its inclusion of real life figures and statistics. Kempinski believes some of the included statistics are “outright lies.”
“It is always a tragedy when a police officer must use deadly force, regardless of the circumstances,” Kempinski writes. “Certainly, the goal for police departments across the country is to reduce and eliminate violent crime.”
“The vast majority of police officers are good, hardworking people. With that said, police work is not perfect, and police officers are human beings—imperfect beings,” he wrote.
Kempinski applauds the attempt to teach kids about real life issues but “using a book filled with misinformation, and a dangerous message that police officers are liars, racists and murderers are not good for our children, our community, or our future.”
The FOP wants Ghost Boys pulled from the Broward schools curriculum.