12/05/2014 09:22 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2015

Juneau, Alaska, Schools Cut 4 Controversial Native History Books From Curriculum

The Juneau School District superintendent on Thursday said he will remove four books from the fourth-grade curriculum that members of the public called into question this year, saying the controversial material distorted Native American history.

The books from McGraw-Hill Education tell stories of Native experiences, presenting topics like boarding school and the Trail of Tears through a fictional lens.

"It was a matter of looking at the material and saying, 'Is this the best we can do or can we do better?' " said Mark Miller, district superintendent. "It's just so important that we leverage every minute we have with our kids."

In May, the district adopted a new language arts curriculum that included the four questioned books -- together, they're considered one week's worth of supplemental material for the fourth-grade students, Miller said. But, he said, back in the spring, the publisher did not include the books in the district's packet for review.