Stop unhealthy changes to McGraw-Hill health textbooks

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Harold McGraw III
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
The McGraw-Hill Companies
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020 USA

Henry Hirschberg
McGraw-Hill Education
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121-0101

To Messrs. McGraw and Hirschberg,

In November 2004, under pressure from members of the Texas State Board of Education, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill publishers, together with Holt, Rinehart and Winston publishers, changed language in health texts for Texas middle and high school students. The revised texts now stipulate that marriage is a union only between a man and woman, promote an abstinence approach to sex education, and omit information related to contraceptive use. We are writing to protest your actions and to inform you of our response to your decision.

This decision by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill signals its abandonment of a commitment to science, education, and to the welfare of the children it claims to serve. In bowing to political pressures you are negligent of your role in education. Children in Texas are now going to be provided with inadequate and non-scientific information regarding birth control, STD prevention and sexual health. In addition, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth will experience even greater isolation and stigmatization from their schools and community and will have to endure prejudiced information that has been shown to be harmful to their identity development and health.

Decisions made in Texas have larger political consequences. Your decision demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice the well-being of youth for profit and to further ingrain the oppressive beliefs and assumptions that lead to exclusive marriage policies nation-wide.

Until Glencoe/McGraw-Hill reverses its decision regarding health in textbooks and issues a statement that it will not capitulate to pressures from school boards, we plan to exclude all McGraw-Hill textbooks from courses we teach at the college level and to encourage our colleagues in higher education to do the same.