Viera, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — The Brevard County School Board has voted to create a “supplemental guide” for an Advanced Placement history textbook that many parents and one lawmaker called a “biased” and “flawed” history that is too favorable of the Islamic faith.
Already used by 50 percent of Florida’s ninth graders and published by Prentice Hall, the Brevard School Board voted to approve a supplement to the book during a meeting Tuesday night because simply throwing out the expensive textbooks would prove too costly.
Florida state Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, led the charge on the issue, bringing it to the school board’s attention. Workman explains to WESH-TV that the book, titled “World History,” dedicates 36 pages to Islam and only several paragraphs to Christianity. He also says the book “sugar-coats the rise of Islam.”
“When you report history truly, then you report those horrible things that we did in the name of Christ or that the Jews did. And you should also report that in the name of Islam,” he told WESH.
“Our children deserve facts and accuracy, not history being revised for our own failure or desire to not offend one culture or another,” said Workman to the school board, according to Florida Today.
Fox News reports that the publisher, Pearson, confirmed the textbook has a chapter entitled, “Muslim Civilizations,” but went on to deny any bias and that the book had been through a “rigorous review process” with experts who deemed the book as balanced.
Two other members of the board agreed to take an informal look at the book, and they too agreed that the book was historically biased.
“The book was a bit biased, and we wanted to develop a supplement to replace the section of the book on Muslim culture, which I think will present an interesting opportunity for students to actually talk about bias, along with all the other cultures,” said school board member Andy Ziegler.
Brevard County schools returned to classrooms on Wednesday for their first day of the 2013-14 school year.