Press Release 7.22.13
(Nashville, Tennessee) –July 22, 2013 –Laurie Cardoza-Moore, President of Pro-Israel organization, Proclaiming Justice To The Nations (PJTN) has been informed by the Williamson County School Board Attorney that Pearson Publishers has decided to remove an anti-Semitic passage from future editions of the textbook that has outraged parents in the school district.
This is the statement Pearson, the publisher, provided to Williamson County Schools:
“The publisher and author of The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography recognize that topics of political violence and terrorism are extremely complex, intense, and personal for some readers. Given the sensitivity some individuals have raised regarding a paragraph on terrorism, we've made a decision to edit out the paragraph as it is not essential to understanding key concepts. The change will be reflected in all future printings and electronic versions of the l0th and 11th editions.”
“This is a tremendous victory for parents in Williamson County and in school districts across this country,” noted Mrs. Cardoza-Moore. “It proves that when parents are engaged in their children’s education, they can have an impact on whether our children will be exposed to false propaganda through a pattern of anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Israel disinformation sneaked into their textbooks. But it is not enough. Students in K-12 schools lack the experience and skills to validate most of what they hear, easily absorb propaganda, and tend to believe what their textbooks and teachers tell them.”
This was just one of a number of passages in this book that parents complained about. But Pearson Publishing made no mention of removing any other than this one. Pearson's Human Geography textbook is not an isolated incident. The passages are neither slips of the tongue, or of the keyboard, buried in a dark corner of the textbook.
Despite Pearson’s decision to remove the anti-Semitic passage and the Tennessee Government Operations Sub-Committee’s expressed concern about the content in the textbook, parents in Williamson County are deeply troubled that the Williamson County Schools Ad Hoc Committee has decided to subject another 700 students in the coming 2013-2014 school year to this type of indoctrination. "For several months, the parents of Williamson County have participated in a series of school board imposed processes to shine the spotlight on anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-American passages in the textbook. We do not understand the rationale behind Williamson County schools continuing to make use of the textbook, considering that the publisher has conceded that at least one of the passages is inappropriate for the students.” , added Mrs. Cardoza-Moore.
Late last year, Pearson had to correct the content of an already-printed, biased World History textbook that it intended to sell to the Palm Beach County Florida school district, 11th largest in the nation. Pearson was forced to then reprint it, at their expense, before it could be purchased. Citizens for National Security (CFNS) Founder and Chairman Dr. William A. Saxton, stated, “Our success in getting this agenda-driven content removed was undoubtedly a huge victory. But of even greater significance is the precedent that we have now established.”
Last month, Mrs. Cardoza-Moore testified during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Nashville before the Government Operations Sub-Committee. The hearing was for a “sunset” review of the Tennessee Textbook Commission that was tasked with the responsibility of reviewing textbooks for standards, accuracy and bias. Four other parents from Williamson County were invited to testify as well. Members of the Sub-Committee invited parents to testify to address their concerns that students are being indoctrinated with anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Christian values through propaganda inserted into textbooks approved by the Tennessee Textbook Commission.
In response, State Rep. Glen Casada R-Franklin was quoted in a recent Tennessean article saying, “’that one commission may not be enough.’ He is drafting legislation he hopes to present in 2014 that would create a separate commission made up of parents and teachers who also would review the texts. These reviews would be available online.
The textbook at the center of the controversy is The Cultural Landscape—An Introduction to Human Geography. In a chapter dealing with terrorism, under the title “Why Has Terrorism Increased?” students are posed the thought:
“Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult. For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” The book goes on to state: “Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.”
Cardoza-Moore noted in a release from PJTN: “The text in the curriculum seems to imply that the terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians is legitimate because it is being carried out by Palestinians in retaliation for political purposes. It also suggests that Israel launches unprovoked attacks against ordinary Palestinians, which is blatantly false...”
She continued: “If we apply the same logic articulated in this textbook, legitimizing terror attacks against Jews in Israel as a result of ‘political violence,’ then what should the student deduce from 9/11 and the Muslims who murdered almost 3,000 Americans on that horrific day? That the Saudi nationals who attacked the US in general and Americans specifically were justified because of the US policy in the Middle East?”
PJTN’s review of the book noted additional factually inaccurate information with regards to the historical and archaeological evidence of the Jewish presence in the land dating back almost 4,000 years. The textbook has been at the center of controversies in at least three separate school districts and parent/community disputes dating back to 2007. And there have been others. According to CFNS Program Director Nicholas Martin, “The Palm Beach County situation was one of three successful interventions involving slanted textbooks. CFNS had previously spearheaded the rejection of another such flawed textbook, World History: Patterns of Interaction, published by Houghton-Mifflin and was a major player in correcting the content of a similarly tainted McGraw-Hill geography textbook, World Geography and Cultures, intended for the same district.”
PJTN’s fight to remove this type of biased curriculum from elementary to college level textbooks is an ongoing nationwide effort. “Parents across the country must mobilize to take this issue head-on and put our educators and textbook publishers on notice that we will not tolerate a campaign of disinformation that undermines our Judeo-Christian values.”, Mrs. Cardoza-Moore emphasized. “The Holocaust did hot happen in a vacuum. I’m driven by the words of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who said, ‘Indifference to evil is evil.’”
Sr. Media Advisor
* Citizens for National Security www.cfns.us is a non-profit research organization.