ICYMI: Ashley Kalus Refuses to Rule Out Banning Books

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Republican gubernatorial nominee Ashley Kalus is doubling down after refusing to answer whether she’d ban books and ban Rhode Island teachers from teaching about race in a press conference earlier this week.

Ironically, Kalus opened the press conference with a quote from civil rights leader Malcolm X before refusing to say whether she’d censor teachers from talking about race and racism.

Kalus, who has referred to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a “role model,” also dodged questions from reporters on whether she would embrace DeSantis’ divisive policies of banning books.

Asked in a later interview, “How can Rhode Islanders truly get to know you if you don’t directly answer questions like that?” Kalus dodged again.

Throughout her campaign, Kalus has repeatedly failed to present any real plan for how she’ll govern. Asked for a copy of her education plan, a Kalus campaign spokesperson said that it “is still currently at the printer.”

Read more coverage of the press conference below.

The Public’s Radio: Kalus offers more details on her education approach

Kalus staged a news conference in Providence to outline some of her views – the first, she said, in a series of public events to discuss key issues. She began by quoting an unlikely source – Malcolm X – for calling education the passport to the future.


But Kalus, who has cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a role model, declined to offer a yes or no answer when asked by reporters if she supports banning certain books or restricting the teaching of race and racism. Instead, she repeatedly said her focus would be on reading, writing and math. DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year banning the teaching of critical race theory.


The Providence Journal: Modeling Massachusetts, GOP governor candidate Ashley Kalus rolls out education plan

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus rolled out her education plan on Wednesday, calling for public school choice, universal pre-K and routine testing throughout the year to evaluate student progress.

Though she left a host of reporters’ questions unanswered.

Asked whether she supports attempts to restrict teaching students about race and racism, Kalus replied, “I think the focus, given the crisis that we’re in right now, is reading, writing and math.”

That is despite quoting civil rights leader Malcom X in the same press conference, and calling education “the civil rights issue of our time.”

Asked whether she supports banning books from schools, as certain states — including Texas and Florida —  have done, Kalus said her “goal is making sure that we focus [on] reading, writing and arithmetic.” Without elaborating much, Kalus said Rhode Island should look to Massachusetts’ education system as a model.