Georgia History lesson errors
From: Billy Bearden
Mt Zion Middle School Principal Jacobs and 8th grade history teacher Mr Ballew,
Having gone down this road on occaision before with Mr Ballew, as well as looking now at very similar issues here in my hand (my son Trey’s copy of the "Georgia History Chapters 13 & 20 Definition Quest") I must ask exactly what is the agenda y’all are promoting to the youth at your school?
Mr Ballew will well remember of the discussion we had back on September 10th 2007 regarding Nathan Bedford Forrest. It went like this:
Dear Mr Ballew,
Good morning. Today Brandon David of your 6th period related an incident
that occured in your class regarding the Klan and Lt General Forrest. Now,
he may or may not be correct, so I bring this to your attention for
He stated that in your class recently, a discussion was taking place of
natives and clans, and a student named Dallas mentioned the Ku Klux Klan.
Somehow, he says, the subject of the KKK was mentioned and claims you
stated the KKK was created by Nathan Bedford Forrest. He said he refuted
that statement, but thought enough of the event to inform me about it.
NB Forrest did not create or found the Ku Klux Klan. That was accomplished
by the following 6 individuals on December 24th, 1865;
1. John C. Lester
2. John B. Kennedy
3. Frank O. McCord
4. Calvin E. Jones
5. Richard R. Reed
6. James R. Crowe
(Mr Ballews reply)
"I value any information that anyone can provide but I must admit I am not a KKK scholar so when I get time I will delve a little deeper into it.
Since we were not specifically discussing the KKK my statement was brief and we continued discussing the subject matters at hand. But again thank you for the incite. And I will talk with my Principal about the living history event soon. Thank you again. B. Ballew"
So imagine my (not very surprising) shock that on this most recent test, Question #10 states
"Founded in Tennessee by former Confederate War Vets (most notably Nathan Bedford Forrest)
the ___________________ was a secret society that used terror and violence to keep freedmen from voting, holding office, or exercising their new rights." Seems that now is the time that the KKK is being specifically discussed…
In fact, on the Chapter 12 list covering the War, I found at least 5 errors of fact, and sent Trey to school with a list of corrections, even providing Antietam National Battlefield Park literature to help disprove 2 of the wording of the questions of said topic (although I am unsure how either Shiloh or Antietam relates to Georgia war history, while the local Battle of Rotherwood or the kidnapping of hundreds of women and children by Sherman’s forces from New Manchester Mills and Roswell Mills would be much more appropriate).
Trey was alert enough to circle that blatant error on this most recent list of questions and brought it to my attention, however, as I sift thru these pages, I find numerous more.
2 more that jumped out at me right off were question # 31, which says "The 35 US Senators that walked out of the 1948 Democratic Presidential Convention ….was called the ______ Party"
The answer that is supposed to be given is the ‘Dixiecrat Party’, but that was simply a nickname. The Official name and truthful answer is actually the "States Rights Democratic Party" and even the question is incorrect, as the 1948 DPC was held from July 12 – 14 at Convention Hall in Philly, and the States Rights Party was formed on July 17th in Birmingham Alabama.
The other was question #42 which reads " Founded in 1909 by a group of blacks that worked to gain equal treatment for African American citizens… This was the______"
The answer is supposed to be the NAACP, but the question is incorrectly worded and misleading. The founders of the NAACP were Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, William English Walling. Only 2 were black, not really a ‘group’ of them. Even of the ‘Committee of 40", were mostly whites and Jews, possibly only 7 total blacks helped found the NAACP. Of course the impetus behind the founding was due to the 1908 Springfield Illinois Race Riots and it was not mentioned….
Just like Shiloh and Antietam, lots of stuff from these lists are from elsewhere like Malcolm X, Montgomery,and Washington DC. Lots of talk of integration, but no mention of Topeka Kansas (Brown vs BoE) In fact I haven’t seen too much that is supportive of Georgia, the state, her heroes, her citizens, or her glory, just lots of anti Southern stuff, and lots of that is incorrect or half truths.
I am EXTREMELY concerned that what is being promoted to my son and his peers is not Georgia History, or any history at all, but rather some leftist liberal agenda.
I am also told that historical films like Gods and Generals and Gettysburg cannot be shown to a 13-14 year old audience for a PG-13 rating, but that a film showing the beating deaths of slaves and children was OK for the same demographic for Black History Month.
If out of 2 worksheets I have found this many errors and lies, then am I to assume the total of the lessons are also as contaminated? If we sat down and actually went thru each and every question listed, would any of them pass muster?
I would call upon the principal to suspend using whatever text is currently being promoted as very unreliable as a source, and seek out a more thorough and accurate lesson plan, whose truths and ideals are more inline with that of real and abiding Georgia history. To continue pushing such phooey is helping absolutely noone except big city liberals and the leftists who publish such garbage.
I ask only that a full and accurate accounting of history be provided to all students.
Are y’all willing to comply? Hopefully many others will become aware of this and speak out as well.
Thanks and God Bless
790 Harrison Road
Carrollton Georgia 30117