The Springboro school board continues to discuss controversial issues tied to conservative political ideology at their meetings, despite ongoing criticism.
Board Member Don Miller joined the opposition to the controversial topics after a self-proclaimed “conservative historian” criticized popular history textbooks during last week’s board meeting.
Critics have claimed the discussions distract attention from the district’s high rankings in academics and efforts to improve curriculum.
Larry Schweikart, a professor at the University of Dayton, described what he called “blatant errors” in textbooks used in history classes at colleges and in advanced placement courses in public schools.
For example, Schweikart showed how Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, was described as an ex-Marine, rather than a Communist.
“That tells us the perspective of the people who wrote those books,” said Schweikart, author of “A Patriot’s History of the United States.”
The board abandoned plans to hold classes on the U.S. Constitution by conservative groups in Springboro schools1904193 after criticism from district residents and groups, including the ACLU. The board also shelved plans to include creationism among controversial issues to be discussed in classrooms after critics said this would violate legal precedents barring the mixing of church and state in public schools.
Miller said the district should focus on getting the best materials for students. “Why are we not just trying to get the best textbooks?” Miller said after the presentation.
Parent Stephanie Bindemann questioned the fairness of the presentation. “Why are we having such one-sided presentations?”
Board President Kelly Kohls moved the meeting on to the next agenda item after Schweikart described his interpretation of history in response to questions from the audience.
“As a conservative, I reject teaching the concepts of race, class and gender,” Schweikart said.”I just don’t buy it.”
Board Member Jim Rigano said it is important for students to understand the original intent of documents like the Constitution and the role of religion in America’s founding.
“Religion is a part of history,” he said.
But Miller challenged the board to “get politics out” of board meetings.
The Dayton Daily News has been closely covering developments in the Springboro school district. The newspaper is committed to covering the district’s debate surrounding controversial issues including the interpretation of the US Constitution and creationism.