An Advance Placement Government and Social Studies class reading list is causing controversy because it features conservative authors, such as Mark Levin and Ronald Reagan. Gulf Coast News Today reports that the list included titles like “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions,” “Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attacks on Our Borders, Economy and Security,” “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” and “48 Liberal Lies About American History (That You Probably Learned in School).”
The teacher, Gene Ponder, from Spanish Fort High School in Alabama, did not make the summer reading assignment mandatory. He merely encouraged his students to read one of the books on his list. However, after people began sharing the list on Facebook and Twitter, the school board pulled the list and denounced the list.
Ponder, who ran lieutenant governor of Alabama in 2010, as a Republican hasn’t hidden his political beliefs from the students or the school. CNN reports that he has several conservative news sources listed on the front page of his website. However, as they rightly note, there is no rule against it in the employee handbook.
It shouldn’t be surprising that a government teacher has a point-of-view on politics or that he might share his point-of-view with his students. If students—or more likely their parents—objected to the list, then they should have abstained from the voluntary assignment.