Tennessee: Dad wants biology textbook banned for 'myth'

Tennessee: Dad wants biology textbook banned for 'myth'

April 5th, 2010 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

KNOXVILLE - The father of a Knox County public school student wants the school board to get rid of a high school biology textbook that he calls biased against Christians.

The board was scheduled Monday evening to consider Kurt Zimmerman's appeal of a review panel's finding in favor of the book.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Zimmerman wants a change of textbooks because the honors biology course book used at Farragut High School describes creationism as a "biblical myth." He is asking that what he termed non-biased textbooks be used.

School superintendent Jim McIntyre said the committee's finding to keep using the book was appropriate. He asked the board to both hear Zimmerman's appeal and uphold the committee's recommendation. A decision is expected Wednesday.

Zimmerman asked in December that the school immediately quit using the book "Asking About Life" in his son's class and all classes.

He said it could "mislead, belittle and discourage students in believing in creationism and pointedly calls the Bible a myth."

The newspaper reported Zimmerman's documentation included a quotation from page 319 on which the authors describe creationism as "the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in 7 days."

A six-person textbook review committee concluded the material wasn't questionable and recommended the book not be banned.

One of the reviewers wrote that in context, the word myth was appropriately used to "describe a traditional or legendary story with or without a natural explanation."

Another reviewer concluded the writers used the word myth "for shock value."

Among members of the review board were Farragut's principal, a biology teacher, a parent and a student.

McIntyre said this is the first time in his first two years as superintendent that a parent has asked that a textbook be banned.

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Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com