Houstonians travel to Austin to take on controversial Mexican-American textbook

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Dozens of Houstonians traveled to Austin Tuesday, urging the State Board of Education to reject adoption of a high school textbook called "Mexican American Heritage."

Carolina Hernandez is in the 12th grade. She explained to board members that the book insults her family.

"It makes me mad because my parents are both immigrants. They came here from Mexico to work, they have been really hard working," Hernandez said. "They gave me a good education since they didn't have a good opportunity to have an education. I'm like, if this textbook ever got out, it would be offensive to me and my family."

Cynthia Dunbar is the CEO of Momentum Instruction, LLC, the company that plans on publishing the book.

"No textbook in the history of the SBOE has ever been attacked so prematurely before we had even gone through the review panel for first edits and all of that," Dunbar said.

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Eyewitness News has previously reported that the book referred to Mexicans as "lazy" compared to American and European workers.

When asked publicly to describe the authors' credentials, Dunbar said she did not have their biographies on hand and that she is not required, as a publisher, to submit that information to the board. She said she did, however, consult with Mexican-American scholars.

"If the process becomes too onerous, publishers will indeed not go through with it," Dunbar said. "And then there won't be any opportunity for public comment."

Dunbar said she has corrected 29 errors in the book and that it is currently error-free, contrary to what some board members said.

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"We went ahead and looked at all of the comment, and I know there was some testimony that we didn't, but we actually thoroughly reviewed all of the comment of alleged errors," Dunbar said.

The board will vote preliminary on whether or not to adopt the textbook Wednesday and could finalize that vote Friday.
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