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House gives nod to Volusia-inspired textbook review bill

29 April 2014 General No Comment Email This Post Email This Post

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By  & 
andrew.gant@news-jrnl.com linda.trimble@news-jrnl.com

Published: Monday, April 28, 2014 at 11:28 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House, essentially reacting to a months-old protest over the portrayal of Islam in Volusia County school textbooks, passed a bill Monday that would give local school boards, parents and protesters more power over classroom materials.

Hours later, a small but vocal group of demonstrators in Daytona Beach rallied to keep textbook selection free from political battles over religious and cultural differences.

“I’m concerned about having a narrow point of view presented to students; they need to have all sides of an issue, multiple points of view presented,” said Dan Spink, a retired teacher from Port Orange who joined the rally.

The proposal, which still has to go to the state Senate for approval, was the less dramatic of two textbook bills in the Legislature — the other a Senate bill that would have eliminated altogether the state’s role in short-listing and choosing books.

“This is a win for us,” said state Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, who joined in the 84-33 House vote to approve the measure. He said he spoke to local school officials, and “they’d rather take this version of it than the Senate’s.”

Rep. Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach, voted yes in a break with the House Democrats, most of whom voted against the bill. Rep. Dave Hood, R-Daytona Beach Shores, was not present for the vote.

The issue itself started in Volusia. A November School Board meeting was canceled because of security concerns when conservatives rallied to protest the use of the 10th-grade world history textbook they called pro-Islam. The book had a chapter about the rise of Muslim civilizations without a corresponding chapter on Christianity.

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Original post: House gives nod to Volusia-inspired textbook review bill





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