Issue 63, Fall 1996

National news spotlighted the rejection by the Hudson, Ohio Board of Education of The American People, a multicultural history textbook recommended by educators for high school use. But the Board’s reversal of its action seems to have gone unnoticed outside of the state.

Under pressure from a local religious group, the board first voted not to adopt the new text. But later, at a special July 8 meeting, they adopted the book by a vote of four to one.

The textbook, recommended for advanced placement history courses, came under attack by Robert Lattimer, director of the Hudson chapter of Citizens for Excellence in Education, a conservative religious group, for “focussing too much on how various minorities have been victimized.” Lattimer claimed that “many caucasians were treated poorly in their history, but you don’t read much of that in the book.” Lattimer’s attack, strongly supported by one member of the school board who opposed the book’s adoption, at first caused two other members of the Board to abstain from voting, resulting in initial rejection of the text. Reconsideration brought sanity and adoption of the book.