In early 2011, I became involved with the Florida Textbook Action Team with information that was supplied to us by Dr. William A. Saxton, Chairman of the Citizens for National Security (CFNS). Based on this group’s 13 month research into the History/Social Studies books being used in Florida schools and in schools around the country today, we as a group engaged in contacting our local school boards protesting the textbooks favoring Islam over Christianity and Judaism. We also protested the textbooks’ presentation of an unfair view of history, particularly with regard to the policies of the U.S. and Israel.
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The report identified approximately 30 textbooks used in Florida public schools with instances of bias, inaccuracies, and purposeful omissions. The report alleges that students are being given flawed information about the history of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Middle East, and Islamist extremist threats worldwide. It included over 200 quotations from the list of textbooks that CFNS shows are biased and/or inaccurate.
One example in the report is when a textbook states, “Women, as wives and mothers, have an honored position in Saudi society.” Another article states, “The land now called Palestine consists of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.”
Dr.Saxton stated, “Although agenda-based campaigns to shape textbook content have existed for some time, the past decade has seen particularly aggressive, intense overt and stealth efforts by proponents of Islam to inject their beliefs into K-12 classrooms via textbooks.”
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Just last year, parents in Bedford, NH pulled their son out of his local high school after the teen was assigned a book that refers to Jesus Christ as a “wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist.” “Nickel and Dimed: (On Not) Getting By in America,” was a required reading assignment for the high school’s finance class. The book is a first-person account of author Barbara Ehrenreich’s attempts to make ends meet while working minimum wage jobs in Florida, Maine, and Minnesota. In addition to taking aim at the idea of the American Dream and arguing for a higher minimum wage, Ehrenreich also takes aim at Christians and other groups in the book and uses foul language — all of which made this NH family very unhappy. Complaints were made to the Principal and Bedford School Board with basically deaf ears.
Florida found last year when we complained to the School Districts about the textbooks that the blame for the textbooks chosen flowed back and forth between County school districts and the FL Dept. of Education (FDOE) as to who was responsible for the books that were chosen. In the NH case, roughly three weeks after the complaint was filed, a review committee assembled by the school district ruled that despite its shortcomings, “the book provided valuable insight into the circumstances of the working poor and an opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of the ‘Financial Impact’ competency.”
Ironically, states are passing more and more laws addressing parental input and responsibility in regard to education, but when push comes to shove and parents lodge complaints, they are ignored or told that “they do not understand.” This has been the case with both the local school boards and the State Education Departments.
Larry Schweikart, a professor of history at the University of Dayton and a best selling author, has written a book called “48 Liberal Lies About American History (That You Probably Learned in School).” Schweikart examined the top-selling U.S. history textbooks, along with other resources used in public schools, and found them seriously flawed. Not only were liberal lies pervasive, so was a negative view of America. As he writes in the book’s introduction, modern textbooks often portray America as “a racist, sexist, imperialist regime.” Good news is often omitted, while America’s failings are emphasized.
Recently the Bradley Project on America’s National Identity outlined in its report, “E Pluribus Unum,” a concern that America is in danger of losing a sense of national identity. They call upon educators to move away from highlighting what’s wrong with America over what is right, and to promote a shared sense of American identity rather than emphasize our ethnic, racial, and religious differences. It also suggests that we are not doing a good job of teaching students the fundamentals of American history, but we are succeeding in teaching them to be hyper-aware of the divisions among us rather than all that unites us.
In addition, textbooks are taking on a liberal slant even to the point of portraying Democrats in a better light than Republicans. Credit is given to Mikhail Gorbachev for ending the Cold War and almost no credit is given to Reagan. In the discussion of how communism failed as a political and economic system, the only mention of Ronald Reagan is “trying to keep up with Reagan-era military might have helped do it.’ So how and why exactly did communism end? “When the Russian people had had enough, they just threw communism out.” Also. “Bill Clinton was president when we were still trying to understand new attitudes about morality and sex and the special prosecutor and the press went far beyond the bounds of good taste or legal necessity in describing the president’s relations with a woman who worked in the White House.”
So, just what is happening here? We are producing students with the scantest of knowledge of American history and planting in them a distorted vision of what we do give them. Lies! It has been suggested we do not even need to teach any American history prior to the year 1865. Why is that? Because if you remove a child’s attachment to their history, there is no allegiance to the country. How sad it will be if our children are deprived of knowing how great our Founding Fathers were and what they sacrificed for this country! Additionally, we are depriving them of an attachment to America’s story of truth and exceptionalism. It is this very exceptionalism our enemies do not want our children to learn because it does separate us from the rest of the world. Exceptionalism means that we are different, not necessarily better, as in gloating. It does lay out hope and a goal for other countries to achieve. Why else does everyone want to come to America? You sure don’t hear about people moving to Cuba, Iran, or Venezuela!
Parents and grandparents who today have the responsibility of raising our children MUST, to preserve America and for the protection of the very children you are responsible for, read their textbooks, know what is happening in their classrooms, and demand and push back against publishers who are printing these lies. Go after the very education systems who are turning a blind eye, all with the use of your tax dollars. The fight is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
For the time being, I recommend homeschooling, since the charter schools are also betraying the children. There are many very good Christian Conservative homeschool programs out there.
Trust me, these few examples are only the tip of the iceberg. The list goes on and on.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.