Group sues over new textbook law in Florida

A Florida-based group devoted to warning the public of extremist ideologies has filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Education over the state’s new textbook adoption law. Citizens for National Security contends the law, which changes Florida's method for selecting textbooks, does not leave enough time for a three-person expert committee to adequately review textbooks.

In published reports, the organization’s chairman says he is particularly concerned about parts of history and geography textbooks that discuss world religions.  William Saxton complains about “a lot of unbalance in the discussion of Islam in comparison to Christianity and Judaism (in textbooks).”

Under the old state law, a statewide committee of at least 10 members reviewed textbooks and made recommendations to the education commissioner. The committee consisted of educators and members of the public. The new streamlined process, implemented as a result of passage of SB 2220, uses two experts, with a third who serves to break tie votes when necessary. The CFNS lawsuit states that some textbooks, particularly history books, are hundreds of pages in length, requiring far more people to review them and more transparency.

In its lawsuit, CFNS states its mission is to educate, motivate and activate ordinary citizens who are committed to keeping our county safe from threats to our national security, especially threats from extremist, violent, religious groups and other radical ideologies that are based in the United States as well as those that often have ties or are based in foreign nations and promote hate and violence towards our country.

 

“The present danger of fundamentalist religion is often obscured, the negative influence of fundamentalism is downplayed and the teaching of one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all times, i.e. evolution" is often ignored, questioned or denied due to the failure of this State to properly monitor its textbooks,” the lawsuit states.

CFNS has posted the lawsuit on its Website at https://cfns.us/files/CFNS-1.pdf.

Tags: 
Textbooks