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Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 08:56 PM
November 6, 2004

Health Textbooks in Texas to Change Wording About Marriage



http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/a.gifUSTIN, Tex., Nov. 5 (AP) - The Texas Board of Education approved new health textbooks for the state's high schools and middle schools on Friday after the publishers agreed to change wordings in the texts to depict marriage strictly as the union of a man and a woman.

The decision involves two of the biggest textbook publishers and is another example of Texas' exerting its market influence as the nation's second-largest buyer of textbooks. Officials say the decision could affect hundreds of thousands of books in Texas alone.

On Thursday, a board member said that proposed new books ran counter to a Texas law banning the recognition of gay civil unions because the texts used terms like "married partners" instead of "husband and wife."

After hearing the debate on Thursday, one publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, agreed to include a definition of marriage as a "lifelong union between a husband and a wife." The definition, which was added to middle school textbooks, was already in Holt's high school editions, Rick Blake, a company spokesman, said.

The other publisher, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, changed phrases like "when two people marry" and "partners" to "when a man and a woman marry" and "husbands and wives."

"The board expressed an interest in having us" make the change, Mr. Blake said. "We thought it was a reasonable thing to do."

But Mr. Blake said the publisher did not plan to add its definition of marriage in books to be sold outside Texas. A spokeswoman for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill did not immediately respond to questions.

A list of the books that were approved by the board, as well as those that were not, is sent to school districts for guidance when they choose books.

One board member, Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat, asked the panel to approve the books without the changes, but her proposal was rejected on a 10-to-4 vote.

"We're not supposed to make changes at somebody's whim," Ms. Berlanga said. "It's a political agenda, and we're not here to follow a political agenda."

Another board member, Terri Leo, a Republican, said she was pleased with the publishers' changes. She had led the effort to get the publishers to change the texts, objecting to what she called "asexual stealth phrases" like "individuals who marry."

"Marriage has been defined in Texas, so it should also be defined in our health textbooks that we use as marriage between a man and a woman," Ms. Leo said.

Texas legislators enacted a law last year that prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex civil unions. The state already had a ban on gay marriage.

Neither publisher made all the changes that Ms. Leo initially sought. For instance, one passage that was proposed to be added to the teacher's editions read: "Opinions vary on why homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals as a group are more prone to self-destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use and suicide."

Randall Ellis, the executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said the board had overstepped its bounds in suggesting and adopting the new wording.

"Their job is to review for factual information and instead what we see is the insertion of someone's ideology and agenda into the textbook of middle schoolers," Mr. Ellis said.

The board's approval caps months of debate over health textbooks. Much of it had centered on how much sex education should be included.

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 08:57 PM
To tell you the truth, I'm not as concerned about was adopted, as what they wanted to put in :o

Paldias
Nov 6th, 2004, 09:00 PM
To tell you the truth, I'm not as concerned about was adopted, as what they wanted to put in :o

:tape: Yeah I bet they wanted to include pictures of people burning gay people at the stake ;) :tape:

I find this disgusting, but hey I don't live America so there's nothing I can do.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:11 PM
Oh, how very sad that with all the issues in education today that are of great importance, they take the time to address this one.

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:30 PM
Well, it could be worse. Whether there should be mandatory Creationism in school.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:31 PM
A girl that I went to highschool with was offended that they taught evolution :retard:

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:34 PM
A girl that I went to highschool with was offended that they taught evolution :retard:Hey, that's a big deal to a lot of people in the heartland. I saw a PBS documentary on that. This issue for many is that if they are going to teach one theory (Darwinism), then they should give equal access to the other.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:36 PM
Hey, that's a big deal to a lot of people in the heartland. I saw a PBS documentary on that. This issue for many is that if they are going to teach one theory (Darwinism), then they should give equal access to the other.
Sure, in a religion class they should teach creationism. In a science class they teach evolution. :retard:

Frankly, I think public schools should offer religion classes.... maybe some do? Mine didn't. By that I mean offer courses on general religion, not on one religion in particular. Do they do that in the US?

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:38 PM
Sure, in a religion class they should teach creationism. In a science class they teach evolution. :retard:

Frankly, I think public schools should offer religion classes.... maybe some do? Mine didn't. By that I mean offer courses on general religion, not on one religion in particular. Do they do that in the US?
Not at my school, but I guess some high schools could do that.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:43 PM
They should.... I think that an optional well rounded background in religion could be of use to a number of students.

Joana
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:48 PM
A girl that I went to highschool with was offended that they taught evolution :retard:
Darwin's theory is kicked out of 8th grade Biology in our schools. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:54 PM
Darwin's theory is kicked out of 8th grade Biology in our schools. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Is it okay for me to make the :retard: face at that? ;)

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:55 PM
Darwin's theory is kicked out of 8th grade Biology in our schools. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Why :confused: (I thought the European states were so much more enlightened ;) )

GoDominique
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Weird. With all the scientific insights available today you would think that humans become more rational. The opposite seems to be the case.

:shrug:

Joana
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:57 PM
Is it okay for me to make the :retard: face at that? ;)
You're most welcome to do it. And to the fact that our Minister of Education thinks 9 year olds aren't capable of learning foreign languages.

Joana
Nov 6th, 2004, 10:59 PM
Why :confused: (I thought the European states were so much more enlightened ;) )
Because our Ministry of Education is run by idiots. Their arguement is that the theory of evolution is mentioned in 6th grade (in about 1 sentence), so why bother mentioning it again in 8th grade.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:03 PM
You're most welcome to do it. And to the fact that our Minister of Education thinks 9 year olds aren't capable of learning foreign languages.
Is your minister of education... educated? ;) (our former minister of education was a highschool drop out :D)

decemberlove
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:04 PM
Sure, in a religion class they should teach creationism. In a science class they teach evolution. :retard:

Frankly, I think public schools should offer religion classes.... maybe some do? Mine didn't. By that I mean offer courses on general religion, not on one religion in particular. Do they do that in the US?

in my HS, our mandatory history class was world cultures. it went over the main religions of the world and some other shit too. we spent a lot of time on countries that oppressed women.

Tennis Fool
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Is your minister of education... educated? ;) (our former minister of education was a highschool drop out :D)
But he went back to school. Right?

decemberlove
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:11 PM
Is your minister of education... educated? ;) (our former minister of education was a highschool drop out :D)

ha.

HS dropouts can be educated. just cos they don't go to college, doesn't mean they stop learning after they drop out of school. i realize that is the case with maybe most dropouts, but there are also a few intelligent people out there that have problems with bureaucracy.

thou i do see the irony in this particular case.

Joana
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:11 PM
Is your minister of education... educated? ;) (our former minister of education was a highschool drop out :D)
Apparently that woman was the best student in her generation. It really tells a lot about that generation. :unsure:
Anyway, she managed to confuse names of the two most important Serbian poets, and to make it worse it was in prime time on national TV, so the whole country saw it. 3 days later, the candidate of her party lost badly at presidental ellections, she was announced the main culprit for it and now she's gone. :lol:

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:16 PM
ha.

HS dropouts can be educated. just cos they don't go to college, doesn't mean they stop learning after they drop out of school. i realize that is the case with maybe most dropouts, but there are also a few intelligent people out there that have problems with bureaucracy.

thou i do see the irony in this particular case.
My brother dropped out and a few years later wrote his GED, so I know very well what a "real life" education can be worth (and that dropping out doesn't mean that one is unintelligent). I just pointed it out because yes, it's ironic ;)

Crazy Canuck
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:18 PM
But he went back to school. Right?
Probably ;)

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 6th, 2004, 11:34 PM
I suppose we could stop teaching all those other well-corroborated scientific theories as well. Who need relativity theory anyway? Hmmmm, and if we're going to give equal time to creationism how about we do the same for Ptolemaic astronomy. After all, it's possible to come up with a sophisticated geocentric theory that no one can actually disprove with the available data. You just have to assume that the sun, stars and planets orbit the earth with all kinds of little complicated wriggles etc, etc, rather than in perfect circles or ellipses. The fact that there is no physical mechanism to explain why they do so is beside the point: God could make it happen, and it squares more naturally with the words of the Bible.

Most people are so ignorant of science that they don't even know what a theory is. No one who is scientifically literate would ever say "it's just a theory". The main theories of science, including evolution, are so well-established by evidence that it is now irrational to reject them. Even the Catholic Church has officially accepted this.

jelena4me
Nov 7th, 2004, 08:43 AM
I suppose we could stop teaching all those other well-corroborated scientific theories as well. Who need relativity theory anyway? Hmmmm, and if we're going to give equal time to creationism how about we do the same for Ptolemaic astronomy. After all, it's possible to come up with a sophisticated geocentric theory that no one can actually disprove with the available data. You just have to assume that the sun, stars and planets orbit the earth with all kinds of little complicated wriggles etc, etc, rather than in perfect circles or ellipses. The fact that there is no physical mechanism to explain why they do so is beside the point: God could make it happen, and it squares more naturally with the words of the Bible.

Most people are so ignorant of science that they don't even know what a theory is. No one who is scientifically literate would ever say "it's just a theory". The main theories of science, including evolution, are so well-established by evidence that it is now irrational to reject them. Even the Catholic Church has officially accepted this.
Ive mentioned this elsewhere, but I highly recommend Bill Bryson's "A short history of everything".

This book is like a rough guide to science but its VERY thorough and gives a tremendous insight into science today.

The book leaves a feeling of how amazing both the world and the universe are, and how much we dont understand about them, even though we know a lot.

If there is a "god" then is a totally different God to the one pushed out by the major religions.

I recommend anyone interested in the world reads this book.

Mariangelina
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:04 AM
These people are obviously paranoid, homophobic nuts, but those are a dime a dozen. What's funny is that they're calling perfectly impartial and eficient language ("people who marry" is a little easier than constantly writing "a man and a woman who marry", n'est-ce pas?) an attempt to push someone's political agenda on middle schoolers. What would they call what they're doing? And the proposed part about higher risks of drug use and suicide- you see that a lot, and it cracks me up. Have they ever considered that it's awfully hard to be happy if you'd be a social outcast if your secret came out, and there are a shitload of people like them who'd love it if you vanished from the face of the earth?

And it's really quite pathetic for supposedly public education to cater to the whims of religious groups like in this case and that of evolution. You know what, some religious nuts of various religions don't believe women should be allowed to hold a job or go outside with faces uncovered, so do the textbook-makers limit women's rights to a couple of sentences? Oh, they might like to, but it's not politically correct. You know what? A religious school can teach innocent children any kind of shit they feel like.They can tell them to worship a giant hunk of marzipan, wear aluminum foil on their heads, listen to Barry Manilow daily, and say eating asparagus is a mortal sin. This doesn't mean public schools should tell them this. And they shouldn't suppress evidence that asparagus is perfectly safe to eat. :lol:

Yes, that was a pretty crappy analogy, but I'm sick today.

Bacardi
Nov 7th, 2004, 06:07 PM
LMAO It figures Texas would do this. Home to George W Bush and the Republican Christian Ticket. Hell, can't we give Texarcana back to damn Mexico, surely they can do better with it than we have. After all, the only thing Texas has given the USA is W (PUKE) and the Cowboys.... both of which we'd be better without.

GIVE TEXAS and the Homophobic members of it's state back to Mexico. Then we can impeach Bush as he wouldn't be from a US State. :devil:

Tennis Fool
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:05 PM
November 7, 2004

Georgia Evolution Case Heads to Court

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Filed at 6:30 p.m. ET

ATLANTA (AP) -- School officials in suburban Cobb County go to court Monday to defend themselves against a lawsuit accusing the district of promoting religion by requiring that science textbooks warn students evolution is ``a theory, not a fact.''

The trial in U.S. District Court is expected to last four days.

The lawsuit argues that the disclaimer restricts the teaching of evolution, promotes the teaching of creationism and discriminates against particular religions.

County school officials said their warning, in the form of stickers inserted in science books, simply encourages students to keep an open mind.

The stickers read: ``This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.''

The lawsuit was filed by six parents and the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

``I'm a strong advocate for the separation of church and state,'' said one of the parents, Jeffrey Selman. ``I have no problem with anybody's religious beliefs. I just want an adequate educational system.''

The school board adopted the disclaimer after three science texts it adopted in 2002 were criticized by some parents for presenting evolution as fact. More than 2,000 people signed a petition opposing the biology texts because they did not discuss alternative theories, including creationism.

A lawyer for Cobb County schools, Linwood Gunn, said he expects the disclaimer will hold up in court.

He said the stickers ``improve the curriculum while also promoting an attitude of tolerance for those that have different religious beliefs.''

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism was a religious belief that could not be taught in public schools along with evolution.

In April, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper refused to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the school district's disclaimers could have the effect of advancing or inhibiting religion.

The judge applied a test handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. In order to get the lawsuit dismissed, the school board had to show that the disclaimer was adopted with a secular purpose, that its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and that it does not result in an excessive entanglement of government with religion.

Cooper said the school board satisfied him only on the first issue.

Tennis Fool
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:06 PM
Since we're talking about evolution here...

Bacardi
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:07 PM
Why can't they call straight marriage the "One out of every 2 couples get a divorce" marriage? :lol:

alexusjonesfan
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:38 PM
I guess I'll be the wife then :tape:

flyingmachine
Nov 7th, 2004, 11:53 PM
It sounds like they want to control other people/childern so that they will become that :retard: .