xSeries
9:07 am
Fri July 29, 2011

The Great Textbook Wars

Thurs. 8/4 at 8am: What should children learn in school? It's a question that has stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. Schools were hit by dynamite, buses were riddled with bullets, and coal mines were shut down. The fight was over a new set of textbooks.

In the 1970s, the battle for the hearts and minds of America's schoolchildren erupted in violence. School buildings in West Virginia were hit by dynamite and Molotov cocktails, buses were riddled with bullets and surrounding coal mines were shut down by protesting miners. The flashpoint for the explosion was a new set of textbooks. Some parents said the schoolbooks undermined their values. This documentary tells the story of an early skirmish in America's culture wars, and examines the divide that persists today over what to teach children in schools.

By Trey Kay, Deborah George and Stan Bumgardner