Sons of Confederate Veterans want magazine in Alexander County schools
By Lauren Williamson
Record Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

TAYLORSVILLE – A group interested in Confederate history believes Alexander County students should see both sides of the Civil War.

Superintendent Jack Hoke said the high school already has 178 titles about the Civil War.

The school board will decide tonight if “Confederate Veteran” makes it 179.

Larry Church is proud of his ancestors, particularly those who fought in the Civil War.

Church, an Alexander County native, is the commander of James B. Gordon Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The camp believes local students aren’t learning the full history of the war between the states.

That’s why the group approached the Alexander County Board of Education with a request – the right to place their magazine, “Confederate Veteran,” in East and West Alexander middle schools and Alexander Central High School.

In May, the camp asked the school system to put the magazine in the three schools’ media centers. Members offered to provide a year’s worth of issues.

Superintendent Jack Hoke rejected the request after media advisory committees at each school recommended against it.

Hoke said he upheld the committees’ recommendations because he believes school media centers should not accept a publication of one group unless it plans to accept publications from all groups.

“How do you say no to the next group?” Hoke said. “If we allow this group, then if an atheist group wants us to put their magazine in the schools, we would be opening it up to their content.”

In September, the school board appointed a panel of its members to hear the group’s case and make a recommendation to the full board.

Tonight, the appeals committee will present their recommendation to the school board. The board is expected to then take the issue to a vote.

Church said neither his group nor the magazine is racist. It is the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ hope that children will take an interest in their history and their ancestors.

“This magazine has a lot of true history in it,” he said. “It sounds a whole lot different than what the books say. The books they use in schools, all you hear about is slavery. We want the children to have the chance to see the other side and not feel ashamed of their heritage.”

The Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. at the Central Office conference room, 700 Liledoun Road, Taylorsville.

© 2005 Media General Inc.

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