Saturday, July 10, 2010
By Kelly Cook, National Field Director & Dr. Rich Swier, ACT! for America Sarasota Chapter Leader:
There is something historic going on in Florida. A group of concerned parents, grandparents and citizens have questioned the apparent bias in a world history textbook against Western Civilization. They were initially rebuffed before a local staff committee and have been granted an appeal before the entire Sarasota County School Board regarding the textbook in question! This is the first time in Florida State history that such an appeal has been granted!
The textbook that has raised the ire of local concerned citizens in Sarasota County is titled World History: Patterns of Interaction, published by McDougal Littell (now currently published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). This textbook is currently on the Florida approved list of instructional materials.
Most, if not all, of the 67 county school districts in Florida use this same world history textbook. The textbook is fatally flawed, historically inaccurate and may violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution according to a comprehensive study of the textbook done by Dr. Terri K. Wonder (Click Here to read the study as a PDF document).
This textbook has an anti-Western, anti-capitalist, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish bias. Conversely it promotes Eastern and Middle Eastern Cultures, promotes Islam as a religion, promotes socialism and fails to address world history in a historically accurate manner.
Sarasota County ACT! for America Chapter Leader, Dr. Rich Swier, has approached the local School Board and asked that World History: Patterns of Interaction be removed from the district approved list of instructional materials. His work has lead to a historic event — the Sarasota County School Board will hear an appeal to the Superintendent of the Sarasota County School District's decision to deny Dr. Swier's complaint.
So how can you help to turn back the anti-Western civilization and creeping Sharia contained in this Florida textbook?
Here are five steps to make a real difference in YOUR local school district:
1. Find out if your local school district is using World History: Patterns of Interaction. If so, go to Step 2.
2. File a formal complaint with the School District Superintendent (not at the school level) using the study done by Dr. Terri K. Wonder as the basis of your complaint and request this textbook be removed from the District's approved list of instructional materials. Attach the study by Dr. Wonder to the complaint as the evidence for removal of the textbook.
3. When the Superintendent appoints a Review Committee to address your complaint, be there to listen to the discussion, take notes, and make sure the process is fair and panel is qualified and unbiased.
4. If the Review Committee recommends to the Superintendent to remove the textbook and the Superintendent accepts that recommendation - Declare Victory. However, most likely they will not. If the Superintendent totally denies your complain, go to Step 5.
5. Submit a formal appeal to the denial of your complaint directly to the local elected School Board members. For a copy of Dr. Rich Swier’s appeal that he filed, Click Here.
Never before has a Florida School Board directly heard an appeal to a textbook challenge. That all changed in Sarasota County on June 14, 2010. The Sarasota County School Board was forced into the position to establish an appeals process when Dr. Swier's complaint was denied by the Superintendent. The Board, upon deliberation and advice from their attorney, decided to use a quasi-judicial appellate process to address the appeal. This appeal option is in local school board policy, make sure there is an appeal in your local school board policy, if not they should have one.
In the state of Florida, if this appeal is denied by the local school board, there is a process in place to appeal to the Florida State Commissioner of Education. We will pursue this direction if necessary. There is a state textbook review scheduled for Florida next year. Any cloud of doubt raised through this appeal will really help during next year’s review!
Now is the time to find out if your school district is using World History: Patterns of Interaction and time for you to take a stand to stop the anti-Western bias and creeping Sharia in our children's public school textbooks!
To learn more about how to make a difference in what our children are taught please contact Dr. Rich Swier at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (941) 923-2541.
If you live in the Sarasota area, the appeal will be heard by the school board on Tuesday, July 20th at the regularly scheduled late afternoon meeting. Each side in this appeal, the District and Rich Swier, will be given ten minutes to present their case with a five minute rebuttal by each side.
The public may comment. Three minutes is allotted to each person speaking. Please consider being there to make your voice heard!
Please contact the members of the board before the appeal to make your voice heard.
Here are the steps to take:
1. Be very respectful in your comments! The board has granted this appeal we’ve requested!
2. Please refer to Dr. Wonder’s work before you send an email to the members of the school board so that your points are well grounded in facts.
3. Here is the contact information for the Sarasota County School Board via email:
* Shirley Brown, Chair - email@example.com
* Carolyn Zucker - firstname.lastname@example.org
* Frank Kovach - email@example.com
* Dr. Carol Todd - firstname.lastname@example.org
* Dr. Kathy Kleinlein - email@example.com
P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591