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Northwest Allen County Schools board approves previously disputed math textbook

NACS Textbook
The textbook in question is Precalculus by Blitzner, the seventh edition version. The school district had previously approved an older version of the textbook in 2013.

The Northwest Allen County Schools board voted to approve a math textbook that had been rejected earlier this month due to “inappropriate content.” The decision came after 30 minutes of divided public comment.

Parents and students at NACS took the opportunity to respond to board member Kent Somers comments that interracial marriage was an inappropriate topic for a math book.

At the board meeting on May 9, the board rejected a precalculus textbook due to “inappropriate content,” such as divorce statistics and interracial marriage.

Several parents and some teachers and students took the opportunity for public comment during the board meeting this week to respond to those comments, but the comments were split in support and disagreement with both the comments and the decision to reject the book.

One student, a junior at Carroll High School, attended to urge the board to seek teachers’ opinions, rather than dismiss their suggestions.

“They know best how to educate their students," she said. "Please let them do their job.”

Several parents questioned the media framing around the comments and defended Somers character, including his wife. Several others suggested rejecting the textbook due to interracial marriage being an inappropriate topic was bringing politics into the classroom.

The board ultimately approved the textbook with a unanimous vote of 4-0, which Somers abstained from.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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