State Rep. outraged over World History textbook

Rep. believes textbook shows bias to Islam

Author: Justin Warmoth, Reporter, jwarmoth@wkmg.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 07:39:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 24 2013 07:40:18 PM EDT
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VIERA, Fla. -

A local lawmaker is outraged over a World History textbook that is used in high schools throughout Brevard County.

"If they are going to revise history, we don't need them in our schools," said State House Representative Ritch Workman. He spoke out against the Prentice Hall World History textbook at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

According to Workman, the textbook shows a strong bias towards the Islamic religion and down-plays Christianity and Judaism. Workman went on to say, "It goes on, well beyond history into one religion -- Islam. It doesn't do the same for all other world religions."

The textbook has been in Brevard County high schools for the past three years. It is used in Advanced Placement World History, and the book has an entire chapter devoted to the Rise in Islam, even showing the Five Pillars of Islam, with only smaller mentions of other religions, and Workman wants to know why.

"Where is the section on the Holy Bible or the Ten Commandments or the religious rules for the Jews? It's not here," said Workman.

Brevard County Schools Vice Chairman Amy Kneessy said she is concerned with how the book was able to get passed by Florida's Department of Education. She said, "They're the ones that go through every serious textbook adoption screenings. It is a multi-month process and they bring in a lot of people. How did these books slip through the cracks?"

Pearson, who published the book, gave us this statement:

"The textbook referenced was approved by the state of Florida and meets all requirements for the high school World History course. A review of the book shows there is a balanced attention given to the beliefs of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity."

The School Board will hold several meetings to discuss this issue. They plan on getting this problem resolved before school starts August 14. Local 6 reached out to Florida's Department of Education and have not yet heard a response.