Parents Say They Balanced Williamson County Schools Obama History Lesson

Williamson County School System has altered a portion of a social studies curriculum about former U.S. Democratic President Barack Obama after a complaint from parents the lesson had a left-wing slant.

Edina Nelson, one of the parents, recently appeared on The Tennessee Star Report radio program where she complained about the school system’s online social studies curriculum.

The Tennessee Star reviewed one portion of that curriculum this week, specifically how it assesses the presidencies of Ronald Reagan all the way up to Barack Obama.

What we saw appeared politically balanced, with both criticism and praise for each president’s performance.

But it wasn’t always like that, said Nelson, who also reviewed the curriculum several weeks ago at the school system’s main office in Franklin, under the watchful eye of school administrators.

Nelson said the school system, for instance, presented a Wall Street Journal video that presented the narrator’s interpretation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Obama administration. But she said the video tilted to the political left and if it faulted Obama for anything, it was for not going far enough to enact liberal and progressive policies.

“Any conservative stuff you see in there about Obama is because we gave it to them and we forced them to put it in,” Nelson said.

“I cited school board policy that says if teaching materials involve any political point of view then they need to be neutral or if one point of view is represented then they need to have the other one represented. They would never have researched this on their own.”

One article now includes a piece from The Chicago Tribune that explains how Obamacare dramatically increased health insurance premiums.

School system officials told The Star that their online social studies curriculum features articles from the right-leaning National Review magazine and the nonprofit Prager University, which is also conservative.

But Nelson said those right-leaning websites weren’t always available for Williamson County students. She said she and other parents suggested school administrators include those articles.

“When we first showed them the list of conservative websites they didn’t even know what the heck those were,” Nelson said.

“They asked ‘What? The Federalist? What is that? A TV channel?’”

We asked WCS spokesman Carol Birdsong if what Nelson said was true.

In an emailed statement, Birdsong said:

It is my understanding that the OER (Open Educational Resource) team is familiar with both the National Review and PragerU

Materials from the National Review have been used and a PragerU resource was added after it was suggested and then vetted.

As reported this week, parents of students in the Williamson County School System who worry that school officials politicize their child’s social studies curriculum have a right to view the material if they wish.

They seem to have a reason for concern.

As reported earlier this year, WCS officials used taxpayer money to create a series of training videos for teachers that preached “white privilege” and America’s supposed dysfunctional history.

Former School Superintendent Mike Looney said parents were never supposed to see those videos.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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4 Thoughts to “Parents Say They Balanced Williamson County Schools Obama History Lesson”

  1. Concerned!

    All parents should be concerned and looking at the books that their children are learning from in all Counties of our state. Grandparents also should be involved. They can go to the school board office and ask to look at the books being taught in the schools. Grand parents have the time that they didn’t have with their own children. Our children and grand children are the most important citizens and they are the targets for the progressives/socialists.

  2. Victor F. Andrews

    Funny/strange how they apparently even think they need to ‘hide’ this from us! But, kudos to this parent for being persistent. Education should be balanced, but it is most definitely NOT! That’s why we conservative parents are so concerned and why these parents deserve accolades….fighting against the natural ‘bent’ of most educrats. Our elected board members who run on conservative ideas have all but given up on this fight.

  3. william r. delzell

    It’s true. Obama was too nice to the Right, even when he still had a strong mandate during his first two years in the White House.

    Moreover, white privilege DOES exist, and it is a menace to everybody, including to white people. Only most whites don’t know that.

  4. Ralph

    A sample code of ethics for school boards to adopt. It forswears political indoctrination and penalizes teachers that do: