When I taught 8th grade history, we used a textbook that included Thoreau’s classic essay “On Civil Disobedience” (the essay that would later inspire King and Gandhi and other leaders). This inclusion is required by state law. But school administrators do not want Thoreau to inspire their students, so the textbook editors cooperatively remove from Thoreau’s call to civil disobedience any statement that might encourage disobedience. (That’s like taking a car-owner’s manual and cutting out every reference to the car!) What do they leave? Only a few sentences, qualifiers, telling readers not to go too far in disobedience. These qualifiers are taken out of context to misrepresent “On Civil Disobedience” as an essay urging submission, leaving students to believe Henry David Thoreau was no more important or inspiring than the person who tells you to eat your vegetables and brush your teeth, and leaving students to wonder why this man is in a history book at all.
What good is an education if the books are heavily edited? I remember also having this problem with Thoreau when I read him in school, this is also why I have zero faith in education, as it stands, in America. Decades of revisionism, omission, politics, and poor funding has severely undermined the honest educational system that the working classes so desperately depend upon. The revolution will not be televised, the revolution might not even be read.
[Bold emphasis is mine.]
From The REAL issue w/ Mark Twain, Martin Luther King, & Other Censored Authors