The ACLU-PA blog has a report on yet another defense witness in the Dover case contradicting their sworn deposition under cross examination. But there’s another aspect of this that I find really interesting and that is the type of people we tend to put on school boards. The ignorance of the Dover school board is staggering, and they apparently just didn’t think it mattered much whether what they did was justified or not. Here’s the report on school board member Heather Geesey’s testimony:
Ms. Geesey followed the reporters on the stand. Parts of her testimony bore a strikingly similarity to that of Supt. Nilsen the previous week. Both admitted that their sole sources of knowledge about intelligent design – including their belief that it is “scientific” – were board members William Buckingham and Alan Bonsell. They also chose to believe these board members – who both witnesses admit have “no science background” – over the school district’s own biology teachers. Neither found it necessary to do any research on their own about the proposed addition to the curriculum.
Ms. Geesey also recounted her rather rocky relationship with one of her fellow board members, Casey Brown. When Ms. Geesey first joined the board in December of 2003, Ms. Brown had been her mentor. However, the
two had a disagreement, and according to Ms. Geesey, Ms. Brown stopped returning her calls and refused to give her advice. (Bear with me – I promise this ties in later.)
Ms. Geesey defended her decision to vote in favor of the intelligent design textbook Of Panda and People – which she said never read – by stating she was merely relying on the decision of the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee was made up of board members William Buckingham, Alan Bonsell, and… Casey Brown. Our attorney pointed out that Ms. Brown had actually adamantly opposed the teaching of intelligent design, and the committee was not unified. When asked why she had disregarded Ms. Brown’s opposition, she replied, “She was
These are the people running this school district? A superintendant (with a doctorate, no less) goes along with this major change in policy to put ID into science classrooms, a change that came with warnings from virtually everyone including the Discovery Institute that they were courting a major lawsuit, based on the word of Buckingham and Bonsell, neither of which has the first clue whether ID is legitimate or not? They let petty personal squabbles stand in the way of even a minimal effort to find out if this policy was a good idea? Unfortunately, in my experience, this is not the exception but the rule. And that should be frightening to anyone who cares about our children getting a good education.