Indiana rep seeks Daniels' resignation over emails

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A former Indiana House Education Committee chairman says Purdue University President Mitch Daniels should resign over emails showing the ex-governor tried to keep liberal historian Howard Zinn's work out of classrooms.

Democratic Rep. Charlie Brown of Gary said Thursday that the Purdue Board of Trustees needs to "seriously look at asking him to step aside" following publication of the emails obtained by The Associated Press.

The emails show Daniels wanted to ensure Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" was not being used in K-12 classrooms and that he wanted to "disqualify propaganda" from counting toward teachers' professional development credit.

Daniels denies he was trying to quash academic freedom or censor anyone.

One of the emails reads, "Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?"

Daniels says his only concern was that the book not be used as a textbook for kids in grades K-12. He said when he found out it wasn't, he simply dropped the matter.

Now serving as the president of Purdue University, the charge of censorship is of particular concern. He told Eyewitness News if Professor Zinn were teaching at Purdue, he would have been free to write what he wanted, but says, "this does not infer an immunity from criticism if you write rot, as Howard Zinn did, and it certainly doesn't confer an entitlement to have that falsification of history taught to your young people in public K-12 schools."

Most of Purdue's trustees were appointed by Daniels. The board reaffirmed its support for him this week.

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