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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt blocks emails objecting to their workbooks omitting Christianity and Judaism while including Islam for 15 years.


Deactivated email campaign for time.

Florida Family Association sent out an email alert on February 23, 2015 titled Houghton Mifflin Harcourt admits their vocabulary workbooks omitted Christianity and Judaism while including Islam during the past 15 years.  The email alert encouraged people to send emails urging Houghton Mifflin Harcourt officials to stop omitting Judaism and Christianity from their publications and start providing legally balanced religious content in the future. Thousands of people sent emails.

However, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt started blocking the emails being sent through Florida Family Association’s email server.  The following is the block message received from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt server:

Final-recipient: rfc822; linda.zecher@hmhco.com
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 Administrative
prohibition - envelope blocked - http://kb.mimecast.com/
Last-attempt-Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 22:55:27 +0000

Rather than respond to the concerns raised in the online campaign Houghton Mifflin Harcourt decided to block the emails that challenged the content of their workbooks.

Several news sites (Fox News and CreepingSharia) reported in late December 2014 that the Pitt County School District in North Carolina was using a vocabulary textbook with a chapter titled The Islamic World.  The work book contained several pages of vocabulary fill in the blank questions such as:

  • “There are such vast numbers of people who are anxious to spread the Muslim faith that it would be impossible to give a(n)___ amount.”
  • “The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first _____. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet.”
  • “The zenith of any Muslim’s life is a trip to Mecca.”

The entire Islamic World section is posted here.  

Florida Family Association submitted a Public Records Request on January 5, 2015 to the Pitt County School District  which asked for copies of the vocabulary textbook chapter titled The Islamic World.  The request also asked for the separate Christian and Jewish side lessons that the district spokesperson, Brock Letchworth, alleged were also distributed.  Mr. Letchworth complied with the request.  He provided Florida Family Association with a copy of the entire Holt, Rinehart and Winston Vocabulary Workshop Fourth Lesson and two separately created side lessons.

The Holt, Rinehart and Winston Vocabulary Workshop Fourth Lesson was first published 15 years ago.

Florida Family Association began a long drawn out email exchange with Roderick M. Spelman, Vice President of Holt, Rinehart and Winston’s parent company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Florida Family Association asked Roderick M. Spelman “What other workbooks are currently offered for this grade level which give the same presentation of Judaism and Christianity that were presented in this workbook for Islamism, Hinduism and Buddhism?”

After several follow up email communications, Mr. Spelman finally answered on February 6, 2015 with:   "After reviewing past product  I cannot provide you with any vocabulary workbook titles that have been published by HMH (presently or via our legacy companies) that present Judaism or Christianity as the basis for a set of vocabulary activities.  That said, our range of Social Studies texts do present content on all major religions. I would be happy to direct you to those title if that would be helpful to you. Please let me know."

However, Mr. Spelman has not provided the alleged “Social Studies texts on all major religions” that he offered on February 6, 2015 despite Florida Family Association’s follow up requests.  

The Holt, Rinehart and Winston Vocabulary Workshop Fourth Lesson workbook is still offered for sale and used in schools. 

By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s own admission they have not offered during the past fifteen years vocabulary workbooks that have included Chapters on Judaism and Christianity for this grade level but they have for Islam.  Omitting Judaism and Christianity from publications in this manner makes it difficult for school districts to present a curriculum with fairly and legally balanced religious content.

Florida Family Association has prepared a new email for you to send to urge the top three institutional shareholders in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the company’s directors to take action to stop the omission of Judaism and Christianity from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publications and to make sure future publications provide fairly and legally balanced religious content.

Deactivated email campaign for time.

Contact information:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
222 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 351-5000

Top three institutional shareholders own approximately 43% of institutional holdings (based upon Nasdaq.com report)

Paulson & Co.
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Phone: 1-212-599-6616

Sheru Chowdhry, SVP and Managing Director
& Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Director

Anchorage Capital Group
610 Broadway, 6th floor, New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212-432-4600 Fax: 212-432-4601
Anchorage is blocking emails from Floridafamily.org email server.
Kevin Michael Ulrich, CEO

Anthony Lynn Davis, President


Lazard Asset Management
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
Phone: 1-212-632-6000
Kenneth Jacobs, Director, Chairman, CEO
Ashish Bhutani, Director, Vice Chairman
Matthieu Bucaille, CFO



Board of Directors


Lawrence K. Fish
Director and Chairman of the Board

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Director



Sheru Chowdhry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Director
SVP and Managing Director of Paulson & Co. (largest shareholder)
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Phone: 1-212-599-6616



Jill A. Greenthal
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Director
Senior Advisor in Private Equity at the Blackstone Group
Blackstone is blocking emails from FFA server.

The other board members do not have company email addresses.



Linda K. Zecher
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director



Eric Shuman
Chief Financial Officer



Dr. Tim Cannon
Executive Vice President, International Operations
and Global Strategic Alliances



Mary Cullinane
Chief Content Officer and
Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs.



Gary Gentel
President, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing



Lee Ramsayer
Executive Vice President, U.S. Sales



Chris Goodson
Senior Vice President, HMH Education Services


Author: ffa   00000000   Category: Islamists  FFA: on
Tags: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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