“HIstory Alive! America’s Past”
A textbook publisher known for painting a sunny, non-violent picture of Islamic jihad in its history books has rewritten part of the Declaration of Independence.
The Lone Star Report revealed that a fifth grader in Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, Texas, was told to memorize the Declaration of Independence as printed in “History Alive! America’s Past,” published by the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, or TCI.
But there was one hitch – an essential word had been altered.
The true text of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, as written by principal author Thomas Jefferson, states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [Emphasis added]
However, a fifth-grade student reading one of the cover pages of “History Alive! America’s Past,” will see the following:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [Emphasis added]
The text contained no visible disclaimer or brackets indicating that the wording had been changed.
According to the Lone Star Report, State Board of Education member Terri Leo blasted the publisher for altering the Declaration of Independence at a Sept. 17 committee meeting.
“Instead of saying ‘all men are created equal,’ it says ‘all people are created equal,'” Leo noted. “Are we going to tell kids what the actual document says or are we going to change words in those documents to be politically correct … How can you change a historical document and not present it to students as written?”
Altered text of Declaration of Independence as shown in “History Alive! America’s Past” (photo: Lone Star Report)
Texas law dictates that the Texas Board of Education can reject books based only on “factual errors,” and publishers can be fined for uncorrected mistakes in textbooks purchased by the state.
The Texas Education Agency has a page on its website that allows parents and students to report errors found in textbooks.
Leo said she believes the publisher should face a penalty for altering the wording.
“I think that’s a factual error,” she said. “That’s not what the Declaration of Independence says, and I think [the publisher] should be fined.”
TCI representative Natasha Martin told the Lone Star Report that the authentic version of paragraph two in the Declaration of Independence – containing the word “men” rather than “people” – appears in the appendix and the rest of the text.
“History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond“
Martin also said that the new version – published after Texas’ adoption – does not use the page with the altered text anymore.
“The parts that are really the instructional materials, the chapter the kids are reading, the appendix where we refer the kids to read the full Declaration, it is verbatim,” Martin told the Lone Star Report.
WND reported earlier when “History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond,” also published by the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, totally omitted any mention of the violence in a lesson on Islamic jihad.
“Jihad is defined as a struggle within each individual to overcome difficulties and strive to please god. Sometimes it may be a physical struggle for protection against enemies,” the book states. It notes that Islam requires “that Muslims should fulfill jihad with the heart, tongue and hand. Muslims use the heart in their struggle to resist evil.”
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