Group voices concern over new science textbooks in Collier County schools

Students in some Collier County classrooms could have new textbooks to learn science from, but a battle is brewing over the words in those books.

Keith Flaugh from Florida Citizens Alliance said, “All we want to do is when there are controversial subjects we want both sides of the argument presented and not bully the kids into one side versus the other.”

The group Florida Citizens Alliance feels the books the Collier school district is considering is not balanced.

Naples High School student Bridget Cugno is frustrated and thinks the county is trying to keep controversial opinions out of text books, “I think they’re trying to keep textbooks unbiased but really they’re just making them unbalanced.”

“They’re only pushing one theory rather than showing all vies and letting the child make the decision and what they think is right,” Cugno said.

But another student disagrees.

“We don’t really need more balance,” said Sabrina Rodriguez, also from Naples High School.

The alliance says they’re not trying to say one view is right or wrong, that they’re just there to require that the system follows the Florida law. And that the books present hot button topics like evolution and human global warming as facts not theories.

We asked parents, and got mixed opinions.

Kathleen Early said she relies on the school to “reach all views.”

And parent Eric Otto said “Knowing some of the history of where they stand ideologically. I think what they want is religion to balance science in a science class. To me that seems like teaching financial literacy in a english class.”

WINK News reached out to Collier County Public Schools but they say they can’t comment because of a lawsuit they’re still in with the alliance from last year.

The alliance sued the school district in May of 2017 after having similar concerns with social studies book. The district tried to have the case dismissed but a Collier County judge denied the motion.

However, the alliance is not suing the district regarding the new science textbook issue. Under a law passed last year, the public can review the text and if they have objections, the school board must have a hearing.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
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