Posted: 4/22/2013 6:14:00 PM
Author: Tracee Tolentino
Source: First appeared on the Channel 2 News (Nashville) website on April 19, 2013
Williamson Co. parents question material in classroom textbook
by Tracee Tolentino
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn.
Several Williamson County parents are asking for the school district to take a closer look at a book being used in a high school class.
The textbook is used in a Human Geography class which studies the world, its people, communities and cultures.
However, some parents fear students are being exposed to questionable content.
"[The book states] that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are called ‘political parties' in the book when our own state department classifies them as terrorist organizations," parent Hugh Nemets told Nashville's News 2.
For Nemets, who is Jewish, one statement in particular from the 10th edition of "The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography" textbook was most alarming.
The book states, "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?"
Nemets said, "It smells of anti-Semitism to me. It opened the door to legitimizing terror."
Nemets is one of 10 Williamson County parents who voiced their concerns at a board meeting earlier in the week.
"We can find material that is not dangerous or offensive, anti-Semitic," said Nemets.
A spokesperson from the Williamson County school district told Nashville's News 2 that this textbook was selected from a list given to them by the State Department of Education.
The district also said that parents concerned about questionable material found in textbooks can submit a formal written complaint per school board policy, but so far they haven't received any about this book.
Nemets says this is just one reason he decided to pull his daughter out of the district last October and home school her.
"We were concerned about some of the materials that were being taught," he explained.
The school district also told Nashville's News 2 that textbooks are thoroughly reviewed and made available to the public before they are selected for classroom use.