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Right-wing Texas Education Board accidentally bans popular children’s book author.

By Guest Contributor on January 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm

"Right-wing Texas Education Board accidentally bans popular children’s book author."

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brownbear1 Last week, ThinkProgress reported on the Texas Board of Education’s push to change the state’s social studies curriculum to marginalize progressives. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reveals that the latest to be nixed is actually popular children’s author Bill Martin Jr.:

In its haste to sort out the state’s social studies curriculum standards this month, the State Board of Education tossed children’s author Martin, who died in 2004, from a proposal for the third-grade section. Board member Pat Hardy, R-Weatherford, who made the motion, cited books he had written for adults that contain “very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system.”

Trouble is, the Bill Martin Jr. who wrote the Brown Bear series never wrote anything political, unless you count a book that taught kids how to say the Pledge of Allegiance, his friends said. The book on Marxism was written by Bill Martin, a philosophy professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

Hardy imagined herself to be banning Professor Martin’s Ethical Marxism, a book that would never end up in a third grade classroom anyway. In her ideologically driven haste, however, Hardy deprived Texas schoolchildren of the beloved classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The Star-Telegram does note that the BOE will take up the curriculum discussion again in March, when it will hopefully restore Martin Jr., who died in 2004, to the reading list.

DJ Carella

Update

Some Southern California schools have now banned the dictionary from its classrooms because the books contain the definition for “oral sex.”

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