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Frederick Schools, Parents Fight Over Banning Textbook

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The book that has some Frederick County Schools parents up in arms, Social Studies Alive.
Elliott Francis
The book that has some Frederick County Schools parents up in arms, Social Studies Alive.

The board is still weighing its options in the disagreement over the third grade social studies textbook, which some parents say is promoting a liberal agenda. They did agree to form a task force at their June 22 board meeting to look into the issue.

The Frederick County school board discussed the matter Wednesday evening with a small group of parents who want the book Social Studies Alive removed from the curriculum. The parents say portions of the text are slanted, offering leading questions about socialist ideology.

Frederick County resident Cindy Rose, who filed the original formal complaint with the board, gives an example from the textbook.

"It's hard for parents to work, it's even harder if they have children, so wouldn't it be a good idea -- and that's how its posed -- if there were free child care for all?" she says. "That to me is not something you teach a 3rd grader."

The discussion went on for three hours. While some of the seven members of the board appeared to agree with Rose's characterization, one member, Angie Fish, disagreed and says the questions engage students.

"I want them to have those critical thinking skills to make those decisions for them," she says. "Rather than me spoon feeding them what I want them to do for the rest of their lives."

But another member, James Reeder, disagreed, and while speaking to a supporter of the text, pointed to one of the disputed lessons.

"When you ask the question do you think its good to provide health care for free or however it was constructed, you are deliberately leading these kids in a certain direction," he says.

The board will form a task force to study the matter at its next meeting.

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