Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Former School Board Members Testify

The ACLU-PA blog has a report on yesterday’s testimony from Carol Brown, a member of the Dover school board for ten years until she resigned in protest when the board voted to put ID into science classrooms. On the witness stand, she described a long process by which the board, led by William Buckingham, head of the curriculum committee, and Alan Bonsell, chairman of the school board, tried time and again to find a way to get their religious views into the classrooms. She recounts that board members repeatedly said that they didn’t believe in the separation of church and state and wanted to find ways to put the Bible into classrooms and get creationism taught “side by side” with evolution.

Another former school board member, Barrie Callahan, testified to the same events on Tuesday and even produced her notes from a school board retreat wherein Alan Bonsell sought ways to make the science instruction “fifty fifty” between evolution and creationism. And former Dover science teacher Bryan Rehm has also testified to hearing the same thing from Bonsell repeatedly. And all of them report that after objecting to the curriculum change, the board members and others have accused them of being atheists (apparently that’s the worst thing they can think of, though at least some of the folks who objected are regular churchgoers and even Sunday School teachers in the community).

Bonsell and Buckingham, it should be noted, have said in their depositions that they didn’t say any of these things. Mind you, they have multiple people who have all testified under oath to substantially the same thing, we have written notes of a school board retreat submitted as evidence, and two separate newspapers and a local TV station both reported comments at the time that the two men now deny having said. I think it’s pretty clear that they’re lying, don’t you?


  1. #1 raj
    September 30, 2005

    Um, I’m amazed at the depths to which science instruction has fallen since I was in high school in the 1960s. I was in high school in a northern suburb of Cincinnati in 1963 and recall full well the advanced biology course that was part of the curriculum.

    I sincerely cannot figure this out. My parents were of the Southern Baptist tradition, but they certainly did not want to rein in education. What has happened since then?

  2. #2 spyder
    September 30, 2005

    It is beyond sad raj. I too was in public high school then taking core math and science courses to meet the University requirements. For a while i thought that we were special, in that our community had been specifically built for professionals who worked in aerospace and NASA development or supported them, and thus we received the best math/science education as was expected. But even when i was thrown out in ’64 for certain illegal behaviors(being the radical i still am) and forced to attend a “low middle-class” high school in another community, i still received the finest in math/science training. Oveall all my subsequent years in academia, i have witnessed, and tried to fight against, the diminishment of curricula and the very real “dumbing down” of public education across all spectrums.

    The christian faithful are most capable of getting themselves elected to school boards all across this nation. It is their goal and part of the overall agenda. We must be increasingly diligent in rebuffing them at every turn.

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