2nd Amendment summary in textbook raises eyebrows - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

2nd Amendment summary in textbook raises eyebrows in Denton

Posted: Updated:
Photo by Sean Getts Photo by Sean Getts

The Denton Independent School District said it has been getting a lot of calls from parents after someone pointed out online that a high school textbook seemingly misinterprets the Second Amendment.

The book in question is titled "United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination." It's used as a supplemental textbook at Denton Guyer High School, according to the district.

A section on the constitution summarizes the Bill of Rights. For example, it says for the First Amendment "Congress may not favor one religion over another" and "no defendant in a criminal case may be forced to give evidence against himself" under the Fifth Amendment.

The textbook's version of the Second Amendment reads, "The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia."

Sean Getts, whose daughter is a junior at Guyer, told FoxNews.com she noticed the wording of the amendment and alerted him.

"I don't know if it was intentional or not, but clearly these authors interpreted the amendment in favor of gun control," he said. "I'm mainly concerned how this ends up in our school system."

Many argue it implies the right is restricted to state-sanctioned police or military forces, which is inaccurate.

The Second Amendment states, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." And, modern Supreme Court decisions on gun laws have affirmed an individual's right to bear arms.

Conservatives bloggers have called it an intentional effort to reshape young impressionable minds. They've encouraged parents to contact the district.

Denton ISD released the following statement in response to the feedback:

"The main history book utilized in the Advanced Placement U.S. History classes for juniors in Denton ISD is titled: American Pageant. This is a history book that has had a strong reputation for historical facts for many years. The American Pageant, the official textbook, gives the exact Bill of Rights."

The book in question, U.S. History: Preparing for Advanced Placement Exams, is a supplemental instructional aid and not the official textbook for any history classes. The teachers and staff are aware of this ‘summary statement' and are teaching the amendments from the classroom textbook, American Pageant.

The only approved textbook for these classes is American Pageant. All other materials are "supplemental." Please be assured that Denton ISD history teachers are disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment."

Meanwhile, Perfection Learning, the book's publisher, said in a statement it acquired the book when buying another company. It is just one of hundreds that are being reviewed for updates and corrections.

"The title is currently being revised and it is our intention to include the original language of the Bill of Rights in the new edition," the publisher said. "We deeply apologize for the inconvenience."

John J. Newman, the book's co-author, told FoxNews.com that the text of the book was written before the 2008 Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller, which protects individuals' rights to possess firearms. He said the book's only intent was to summarize the Second Amendment and admitted that the current definition is incorrect.

"There was no devious intention in the definition," Newman said.

At least one expert doesn't believe him, though.

Stephen Halbrook, author of "The Founders' Second Amendment, told FOXNews.com he doesn't think the definition was put in the book in good faith.

"It's actually a total perversion of what the Second Amendment stands for," he said.

Powered by WorldNow

400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices