Public Education and Evolution

January 25, 2005

If you are of the opinion that those close-minded Christians are fact-averse, science-allergic and reality challenged, check out the Discovery Institute’s latest press release about a California high school parent suing the Roseville Joint Union High School District (outside Sacramento) “for violating [his] rights during a controversy over how to teach evolution.” Because if you happen to believe that Christians and Intelligent Design proponents are the ones willfully ignoring the evidence, this story might open your eyes a little bit. Here is a link to the press release and related documents on the controversy. In the meantime, please check out the Discovery Institute’s website to “discover” all the good work they are doing. Also check out the new blog maintained by Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, which focuses on the misreporting of the evolution issue. Good stuff. Here are a few paragraphs from the press release:

CA School District Sued for Violating Civil Rights in Evolution Controversy

Sacramento – A California school district has been sued in federal court for violating a parent’s civil rights during a controversy over how to teach evolution.

For more than a year, Larry Caldwell tried to get the Roseville Joint Union High School District outside of Sacramento to consider changing how it taught the theory of evolution in its biology classes. Caldwell, who has three children, says he wanted the district to correct factual errors in its biology textbooks as well as to introduce students to some scientific criticisms of modern evolutionary theory. Caldwell did not propose that the district teach creationism or alternatives to evolution.

The Roseville district ultimately rejected Caldwell’s recommendations. But in the process of trying to scuttle his proposals, Caldwell alleges that the district repeatedly denied him rights and procedures normally afforded to other citizens in the district, banned parents from speaking in favor of his proposals at a public meeting, publicly attacked his personal religious beliefs, spread false rumors about him, and even threatened to sue him and other parents if they continued to speak out.

“These are tactics you’d expect in a banana republic, not the state of California,” said Caldwell.