It seems as if politics are taking a stronghold over every aspect of life in today’s world, and for this generation’s youth, the hold is stronger, and
more important than ever. With the issue of gay marriage rights filling up the election campaign, sooner or later it would reach the youth, and on
November 5 of this year it did; through textbooks.
County school officials said their warning, in the form of stickers inserted in science books, simply encourages students to keep an open mind.
The stickers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This
material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
The State Board of Education approved new health textbooks Friday after the publishers gave in to last-minute pressure from some board members to
define marriage as a "lifelong union" between a man and woman.
Board member Terri Leo, a Republican, said she was pleased with the publishers' changes. She led the effort to get the publishers to change the
texts, objecting to what she calls "asexual stealth phrases" such as "individuals who marry."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The United States government, religious groups, civil rights groups, and other activists are in a constant power struggle over who has the right to
silence the arguments of others in American classrooms. A popular issue, evolution, continues to be fought over to this day, most recently in Cobb
Country, Georgia, where science books now come with warning stickers advising students to keep on open mind when discussing the origin of life and
that evolution is merely a theory. Though this piece of information is repeated numerously in textbooks and teachers are encouraged to step on as few
toes as possible, uttering the phrase, "it’s just a theory," to keep up with the fast pace of a politically-correct America. While religious groups
fight for creationism to be taught in schools alongside or in place of evolution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism was a
religious belief, forbidding it to be taught in schools, while evolution is not connected to any religion and is classified as a scientific theory.
But hitting even closer to home for many Texas students is a new development in political agenda to take charge of, though supposedly
unbiased, Texas schoolbooks' definition of marriage. On Friday, November 5th, The Texas Board of Education approved new health textbooks after
pressuring publishers to adapt this small, but politically driving definition, pushed largely by Board member Terri Leo. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston,
a major publisher of Texas textbooks, now includes a definition of marriage as a "lifelong union between a husband and a wife," into its middle
school books, while the definition was already implanted into Holt’s high school editions. Leo refers to the former definitions as "asexual stealth
phrases" and believes that children should know that "marriage is between a man and a woman," even though this ban on same-sex civil unions is not
a national law and appears to be more of a personal morality statement than for the well being of American students.
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Texas’s other major publisher, recently altered phrases such as "partners" to "husbands and wives" and
"when two people marry" to "when a man and a woman marry," reiterating Texas’s Republican stronghold against same-sex civil unions. Reports from
Holt spokesman, Rick Blake, confirm that the publisher will not be adapting its definition of marriage in books sold outside of Texas. Another Board
member, Mary Helen Berlanga, tells that "We cannot start censoring books because we do not like the terminology," as all books without the changes
were rejected by the board in a 10-4 vote.
Political agenda has always infiltrated the boundaries of public education, though it seems as if a bias remains in education
towards whichever political party is in office. Bordering on propaganda, Texas Board members have voiced their opinion on the matter, though
individual school districts are allowed to choose books that were not approved for the board. Which books are selected will prove to be a political
statement, whether or not it is meant to be. As the censorship of phrases, ideologies, and political agendas run rampant through the nations airwaves,
schools across Texas must be prepared for a political battle they never bargained for, and an even more restricted education than before.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
SOCIAL: Constitutional Amendment defining marriage.
SOCIAL: Gay Marriage
[edit on 10-11-2004 by Banshee]