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First-grade textbook reads like 'propaganda' for pro-gay gubernatorial candidate: conservative group

A California conservative group said a first-grade textbook, still in its pilot stage, reads like political "propaganda" for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom over his support for gay rights. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A California conservative group said a first-grade textbook still in its pilot stage reads like political "propaganda" for a Democratic gubernatorial candidate over his support for gay rights.

“My World Interactive” includes a section about Gavin Newsom — formerly San Francisco's mayor and now the state's lieutenant governor — calling him a “champion for people’s rights" and noting he said "people could marry who they choose. Sometimes, Gavin helped marry people. Some marriages were not between a man and a woman. He made sure that people’s rights were respected," KOVR-TV reported.

Image source: KOVR-TV video screenshot

California Family Council blasts textbook

The president of the California Family Council, a conservative group, blasted the book.

“This lesson is supposed to be for first grade students, but it reads like a piece of political propaganda put together by the Democrat Party,” Jonathan Keller noted on the group's website. “It is both premature and outrageous to list Gavin Newsom alongside universally loved American heroes like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Millions of Californians who voted twice to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman opposed Newsom’s flagrant defiance of our state’s marriage laws and use of the courts to push his personal views of marriage on the population.”

Keller added that the state's Department of Education "is promoting the controversial political views of a candidate for governor to six year olds and blatantly smearing the sincerely held religious beliefs of countless families. This political puff piece should be removed from any public textbook.”

Greg Burt, the group's director of capitol engagement, added to KOVR that the textbook is "way over the top. This looks like it was written by [Newsom's] campaign staff.”

Image source: KOVR-TV video screenshot

'Significant contributions to our history'

Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento County is among several districts testing new history and social science textbooks for grades K-8, the station said, adding that a letter sent last week from the district to parents noted the following:

The newly amended curriculum aims to accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society and includes new references and historical information that portrays the significant contributions to our history by Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans, Persons with Disabilities and Members of other Ethnic and Cultural Groups.

Two parents, two views

One Elk Grove parent told KOVR that the Newsom section of the textbook seemed biased to her.

“It’s like he’s promoting himself," T. Williams added to the station, "and I don’t really think that’s what first-grade learning is about."

But Michael Hoss, a father of two, told KOVR it seemed factual.

“It’s fine with me,” he added to the station. “It’s history, right? And if he was a champion for people’s rights, great!”

Parents have more time to preview textbooks — the next preview day is Oct. 11 — but the district told KOVR the pilot will end in December and a publisher will be selected in January.



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