Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have gained a partial victory in their battle with Boise School District officials over history textbooks they consider inaccurate and derogatory.
The school board voted to adopt "American History, A Survey" for advanced-placement 11th-graders and "Exploring American History" for ninth-graders.But Curriculum Director Jack Craven said he considered some passages objected to by church members to be incomplete and inaccurate, and he said additional materials will be used to balance those sections of the books.
"The textbook is not the curriculum," Craven told the board on Monday. "The textbook is one element that supports the curriculum."
Some Mormons have objected to the books because the ninth-grade text refers to the 19th century assault on a wagon train at Mountain Meadows in the Utah Territory in which Mormons killed 120 people, without mentioning the persecution of Mormons leading up to the attack.
The 11th-grade book says early Mormons did not believe in individual liberty and were economically marginal people, describing church founder Joseph Smith as young and energetic but economically unsuccessful.
"I feel those statements in the textbook, without allowing more clarifications . . . produce the seed of racial and religious discrimination," Republican state legislative candidate Pam Walton, a Mormon, told the board.
Supporters of the texts pointed out that "American History, A Survey" is being used by Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.
Craven said films, lectures and other materials will also be a part of the course work.
The dispute arose less than two weeks after Boise State University released a survey showing non-Mormons in Idaho generally have only lukewarm feelings toward Mormons.