If A Page In Thy Science Book Offend Thee, Pluck It Out

Headline: Gilbert school board votes to rip abortion page out of textbook

“And if thy science book offend thee
Pluck it out and cast it from thee”
Matthew 5 was quite explicit; we should cut the cancer out!
If a textbook says “abortion”
In one chapter—just a portion—
We should exorcise the demon—tear the page if there’s a doubt!

Lop your hand off; squish your eye out
See, this textbook is a tryout
Will you heed the word of Jesus, and reject the things he hates?
Rip a page right from your textbook
Leave it wounded; find the next book
If the books are deemed offensive, they deserve their heathen fates!

Though the cover may say “Science”
We shall rip it, in defiance,
Cos the law imposes penalties for telling kids the truth
So we’ll tear offensive pages
And defend the rock of ages
The destruction of some lessons in protection of our youth!

The folks who actually wrote the science textbook seemed to think that a discussion about reproduction should reasonably include a sentence or two on legal means of contraception. Silly them.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted this week to redact a section on abortion from a science book used in a high school honors curriculum.

Because school board members know better than textbook authors what belongs in a science textbook.

“You would expect a discussion of abortion maybe to show up in actual sex-ed materials. That’s why I didn’t like abortion in a biology book that all it discusses is natural processes. There’s nothing natural about abortion,” said Daryl Colvin, acting Gilbert school board president.

The discussion in Gilbert was first brought up by a conservative Christian law organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to board member Jill Humpherys, Alliance Defending Freedom had complained to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto over the summer.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board voted 3 to 2 to nix the abortion section of the book, citing a recently signed state law that says school lessons on reproduction must give preference to childbirth and adoption over abortion.

“These textbooks were written before the state law so the easiest, simplest, cheapest way to bring them into compliance with state law is to excise that section. It’s only a page,” Colvin said.

Not much natural about the Alliance Defending Freedom, either, but their fingerprints are all over the removal of the page.

Hey, though, for once the comments at the story are [at least mostly] thoughtful!


  1. Nicole De Stefano says

    Ugh, that’s my hometown. In much older, but related news, we were unable to read The Diary of Anne Frank in eighth grade because some enterprising English teacher decided that they would take a Sharpie and literally censor every part that they found “inappropriate” — which, I understand, was roughly a quarter of the book or something equally ridiculous. Not that it wouldn’t be ridiculous to censor even a single line, but still. My junior high also removed books from the library for being “inappropriate”; I’m pretty sure at least some of the “inappropriateness” was basic acknowledgement that homosexuality and other sexual orientations exist, given that a number of Mercedes Lackey books were pulled, but IIRC a John Grisham book that included the violent rape of a woman in a rather unsympathetic light remained.

  2. Mary L says

    I have news for them: abortion is a medical term. What people generally call a miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion.

  3. tecolata says

    Crap. Does stupid in schools never cease?

    I remember complaints about The Good Earth because of the description of O-lan breastfeeding her child. Not only can we not learn where babies come from, we aren’t suppose to learn how they are fed.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    eeew, tecolata! Fluids and stuff! How… animal! Not “HUMAN” at all!

    Blech. I can’t see that world view.

  5. John Horstman says

    If there’s nothing “natural” about abortion, then there’s nothing “natural” about conception. Both require intentional, willful human activity (except, as Mary L notes, in the case of spontaneous abortion… so maybe abortion is more “natural”). In one case, human actions can bring about a pregnancy; in another, they end it.

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