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Utah school district attempts to provide homosexuality-free text books PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Tuesday, 08 March 2005 16:38

Utah school district attempts to provide homosexuality-free text books

Good science is not good for Utah. Seems they need to update their psychology textbook but cannot find one that does not mention homosexuality. Morons.org has a great discussion going on this one.

The School District says it only mentions homosexuality with the following policy, "Our policy is that it will not be taught unless it is teaching the negative consequences thereof."

You just have to love America.  - Rick Barnes

The Nebo School District, serving nearly 24,000 students in north-central Utah, has a problem.

The introductory psychology textbook it uses in its high schools is out of date, and it's time to choose a new one. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a textbook available that meets the Nebo District's exacting criteria.

According to curriculum director Nedra Call, the problem is homosexuality, and the requirement is simple: "Our policy is that it will not be taught unless it is teaching the negative consequences thereof."

It's been thirty years since the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association stopped treating homosexuality as a mental disorder. Both organizations now actively denounce stigmatization or discrimination against homosexuals for any reason; the former has come out strongly in support of same-sex marriage, and the latter of at least its legal equivalent.

The textbook industry seems to be catching up. High school psychology teacher Priscilla Leek says that most of the textbooks now available contain "small amounts?a paragraph or a couple of pages" of material on homosexuality. And it's no surprise, given the current psychological consensus, that the material is not negative enough to meet the district's standards.

A number of solutions are being considered. One is to require parental permission in writing before a student can enroll in a psychology course. This policy is already in force for AP Psychology students in Nebo's three high schools; their textbook is currently the only one in the district's curriculum to mention homosexuality.

Another option, according to Leek, is to dispense with a textbook entirely. "I can find current research material, selected readings and we have the Internet," she says.

And the option of buying one of the offending textbooks and just skipping the part about homosexuality? No good, Leek says. "I don't teach homosexuality. But if it appears in a textbook, there's nothing I can do to keep students from reading it."

Keeping the students from reading their textbooks is certainly a lofty ambition. Left unaddressed, though, is the question of how the Nebo School District plans to keep students from reading about homosexuality if it appears in their local library or on the Internet. Or in their own lives.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2005 16:38

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