CBS Frets 'Conservative' School Board 'Censoring History'; Hypes Protests

On Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King promoted protests in Colorado designed to silence local school board members who were considering whether to have a discussion about possibly changing the history education curriculum to reflect a more positive view of the United States: "High school students outside Denver promise more protests today against the Jefferson County School Board. The panel refuses to drop a controversial plan reassessing how the district teaches American history."

In the report that followed, correspondent Anna Werner hyped "an incredibly contentious meeting" of the school board where "Audience members called for the board's three conservative members to resign after they voted in favor of curriculum review." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Censoring History? School Board Votes to Review Lessons Amid Outrage." [Listen to the audio]

CBS followed the lead of The New York Times, which on September 23 wrung its hands over the "new conservative school board" having "proposed a curriculum-review committee to promote patriotism, respect for authority and free enterprise..."

In CBS's Friday report, after playing soundbites of protesters berating the school board, Werner declared:

Many here call it censorship. [School board member Julie] Williams' original proposal said the curriculum should "present positive aspects" of U.S. history and "not encourage or condone civil disorder" or "social strife." The debate generated days of walkouts at several Jefferson county high schools over the past two weeks and sickouts by teachers that closed two schools on Monday.

A clip was played of Williams explaining: "I think that the community that was here is different than the community that's outside this building. And I believe the majority of the community will be happy."

Wrapping up the story, Werner noted: "...board member Williams' controversial language was stripped out of the approved proposal."

While touting accusations of supposed conservative "censorship," CBS completely missed the irony of liberal forces in the Denver suburb trying to crush anyone with a different perspective on educational standards.   



Here is a full transcript of the October 3 segment:

8:05 AM ET

GAYLE KING: High school students outside Denver promise more protests today against the Jefferson County School Board. The panel refuses to drop a controversial plan reassessing how the district teaches American history. Anna Werner is in Golden, Colorado, where last night's school board meeting drew a very noisy crowd. Anna, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Censoring History? School Board Votes to Review Lessons Amid Outrage]

ANNA WERNER: Good morning. Well, you know, this was an incredibly contentious meeting with more than two hours of public testimony, most of it against curriculum review. Now in the end, the board voted to approve a proposal from the superintendent that was billed as a compromise but still left many in the audience unhappy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please be quiet so the board can conduct business.

WERNER: Audience members called for the board's three conservative members to resign after they voted in favor of curriculum review. The vote followed more than two hours of public testimony from students, parents, and teachers.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Don't think for one second that you are fooling anyone!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thank you.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

WERNER: Most of whom opposed board member Julie Williams' proposal for a committee to review and possibly change the district's advanced placement U.S. history curriculum.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B: Vote no, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN C: This is not what we want.

WERNER: Many here call it censorship. Williams' original proposal said the curriculum should "present positive aspects" of U.S. history and "not encourage or condone civil disorder" or "social strife." The debate generated days of walkouts at several Jefferson county high schools over the past two weeks and sickouts by teachers that closed two schools on Monday. But after the vote, board member Williams said that didn't reflect the entire community.

JULIE WILLIAMS [JEFFERSON COUNTRY EDUCATION BOARD MEMBER]: I think that the community that was here is different than the community that's outside this building. And I believe the majority of the community will be happy.

WERNER: Now, the proposal approved means changes to existing curriculum committees as opposed to a brand-new committee, but it's really not clear what this could mean in the future for changes to the curriculum. One thing we can say, that board member Williams' controversial language was stripped out of the approved proposal. Norah.

O'DONNELL: Alright, Anna, thank you so much.

Education Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning Colorado Video Anna Werner

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