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Conservative authors dominate HS class summer reading list — that is, until local residents see it

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(From left) Ann Coulter, Mark Levin and former President Ronald Reagan were among several other conservative authors of books that dominated the summer reading list for an Alabama high school's Advanced Placement government/economics class — that is, until local residents got a look at the list. (Image sources: Coulter/Getty Images; Levin/Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images; Reagan/Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images)

When local residents got a gander at the summer reading list for an Alabama high school's Advanced Placement Government/Economics class next year, they noticed a definite trend.

The list from Spanish Fort High School teacher Gene Ponder was filled with conservative authors such as Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Ron Paul, Chuck Colson, Michael Savage, and former President Ronald Reagan of decidedly right-leaning books.

Some of the titles?

“Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" (Savage), “48 Liberal Lies About American History” by Larry Schweikart, “Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America" (Coulter), and  “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” (Levin).

Students were instructed to choose one book and write a report on it, the Miami Herald reported, adding that some titles suggest more moderate content. “SuperFreakonomics" is considered more liberal, the Herald said — but added that there was no explanation as to why it's the only title with an asterisk next to it.

As it happens, Ponder was a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Alabama in 2010, AL.com reported, adding that he said a main reason for his candidacy was to stop the federal government's "coercion, intimidation and blackmail" of states. Ponder's run was unsuccessful.

After residents raised concerns, Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler said in a statement that Ponder removed the list, Gulf Coast News Today reported.

“Mr. Ponder’s reading list that is going around on social media has not been endorsed by the school system,” Tyler wrote, the paper said. “The list has been removed by the teacher. Baldwin County Public Schools has a process to vet and approve reading lists so that a variety of sources are used. I expect all employees to follow our processes, procedures and policies.”

While there was a good bit of outrage over the conservative reading list, not everybody was unhappy.

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