Tea Party targets textbooks in Florida
If anybody wants to help a Tea Party group raise a ruckus about pro-Islamic/anti-Christian textbooks in public schools, by all means get in touch, pronto, with Florida-Patriots United and/or Citizens For National Security.
According to an email obtained by The Gradebook, the two groups (both based in South Florida) are seeking volunteers in every Florida school district to help them remove "biased and slanted textbooks" that include "excerpts that advocate Pro Islamic/Anti Judeo-Christian beliefs." The groups want the volunteers to raise concerns with local school officials about the textbooks and send out notices if protests are organized ("which will probably be necessary," the email said.) It says they're planning to do this right after New Year's.
The email said the groups already have volunteers in Pasco, Hillsborough and six other counties. Sheri Krass, who identified herself as the "head honcho" of Patriots United, told The Gradebook they have volunteers in Pinellas, too.
Asked for the names of the problem textbooks, Krass referred the Gradebook to Bill Saxton with CFNS. He did not return an email last night or a call this morning, but Krass said he will probably get back to us today. (Update at 2:32 p.m. Tuesday: Saxton declined comment.)
Saxton has raised concerns about slanted textbooks before: "This is an epidemic," he told the Broward-Palm Beach New Times in May. "Our goal is to turn up the heat on state officials, to pound on the doors of school officials. We want to ensure the composition of the committees that choose Florida's textbooks include people who can make objective, impartial evaluations. All we're asking is that Christian and Jewish religions receive equal treatment."
Here's a copy of the email the Tea Party group is circulating:
Patriots United and Citizens For National Security (CFNS) are working together to remove biased and slanted textbooks from our school systems.
CFNS has researched all approved textbooks in the State of Florida and has identified textbooks that are teaching inaccuracies to our children. Their main focus has been finding excerpts that advocate Pro Islamic/Anti Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Patriots United, a Tea Party organization, is focused on assuring that our children learn accurate information about our History, Government, and Constitution.
This is a statewide effort. We need all Counties in Florida to participate.
We are going to have a Textbook Action Committee in each County and will need one person, from each County, to be the Chairperson.
So far, we have volunteers in Brevard, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pasco, Volusia, and Walton counties. We need a Chairperson in all other counties.
We will be sending a form letter to each Chairperson - that he/she will send to every School District in their County. The form letter will be attached to an email in a number of different formats: MS Word, WordPerfect, etc. - so it can be copied into a word processing program.
The letter will be mailed out as "snail mail". A few areas of the letter will need to be filled in: the address of each School District, the names of the textbooks in that School District that we have found unacceptable (we will provide the info), and the Chairperson’s signature - with an email provided for replies.
Besides acquiring the addresses for their School Districts, the Chairperson will obtain the addresses of their County School Board, State Representative, and State Senator. A copy of the letter will be sent to each of them. We will provide the address for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) - who will also be sent a copy.
The job, at this point, is not difficult or time-consuming. Other than the addresses of those mentioned above, which you would have to obtain, you will be provided with all other pertinent information. Later on, if we decide to organize a protest etc. (which will probably be necessary), there will be a little more work required (getting out a notice).
If you would like to volunteer, please contact me ASAP. We will be taking action right after the New Year.
THIS LETTER IS ONLY BEING SENT TO LEADERS OF ORGANIZATIONS. Please do not send this to members of your group, as it is imperative that we do not give away our "game plan".
Sheri Krass, "Head Honcho"