Protesting SBOE Censorship
Smoot denounced editorial changes -- deletion of prehistoric dates, softening criticism of slavery, promotion of Christian beliefs -- already accepted by publishers at the insistence of radical-right groups like the Eagle Forum and the Citizens for a Sound Economy and asked that the board, the TEA, and the Legislature take steps to "change the whole process" of textbook adoption. "We do not live in Tuna, Texas," Smoot said. "The people here today represent the mainstream middle, and they are here to raise of chorus of mainstream voices saying, 'I object to textbook censorship.'"
UT classics professor Andrew Riggsby told reporters that too many Texas students come to college miseducated by "censored and distorted" textbooks, full of inaccurate or incomplete history imposed by the "small group of busybodies" who annually force their personal religious and political beliefs on the SBOE and the publishers. "I teach ancient history, and I can't omit inconvenient or unpleasant facts." What the SBOE allows, said Riggsby, is "not a review," but "vandalism."