TN Lawmakers Comb Textbooks For ‘Indoctrination’

Community members wishing to review textbooks used in Tennessee schools can actually visit one of ten "review sites," housed mostly at universities, including Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State. Credit: freebooks.com via Flickr

Community members wishing to review textbooks used in Tennessee schools can actually visit one of ten “review sites,” housed mostly at universities, including Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State. Credit: freebooks.com via Flickr

Tennessee lawmakers are spending the next two days making sure classroom textbooks are “tools of education, not indoctrination.” Those are the words of Senate Education Committee chair Dolores Gresham, who will lead the hearings.

Activists have been picking apart history books, finding what they consider anti-Semitic bias and misrepresentation of religious history regarding Christianity and Islam.

Beyond social studies, some biology books are too explicit for Candy Emerson Lawson. She and others in Williamson County have been reviewing reading materials for months.

“Some of the texts are developmentally inappropriate for high school students. The material is too graphic.”

Activists will have a chance to testify. They are some of the same people who have been so vocally opposed to the new Common Core standards adopted in most states.

Members of the Tennessee Textbook Commission will also get a chance to defend their list of approved books. Local districts still have the ultimately authority over what materials will be used in class.

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