Book Controversy

Some elementary reading books are causing quite a stir in Beatrice. The Horizon Reading Books have been used by some schools in the district for four years now. This year everyone is using the elementary books. And now some parents want them to go. At issue is the content. The Horizon Reading Materials are published by McGraw Hill Publishing, one of the nation's largest publishers. It's used in 14 states and has been ranked in the top three by the Federal government. Still some parents want to see it go. One of the issues is the story of Jokey the Beagle. In the story, he's made fun of for being fat, and told to go on a diet. Then students do workbook exercises where they pick out the person who needs to loose weight. Some parents are also upset the book uses words like, stupid, shut up, hate and kill to get messages across. They have filed complaints with the district, putting the books under review. Channel 8 Eyewitness News tried contacting McGraw Hill Publishing for this story. They did not provide us with comment. The Beatrice school board will now appoint a committee to review the material.