This is an amazing story, and unfortunately, it is probably being repeated again and again across the country. It begins with a parent who does not want his daugther exposed to science, which is pretty common, but leads to a startling revelation about the local school board. Startling, but I’m afraid, probably not at all uncommon either.
In Pymatuning Valley Local School District, in Andover, Ohio, a “concerned” parent, Frank Piper, questioned the school board about the teaching of science in the middle school, where his daughter is enrolled.
Specifically, he is
concerned because the district is teaching the “big bang theory” of the creation of the universe and not presenting students with alternatives to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Creationism, which posits that life is too complex to be explained by evolution alone, and its place in public school curricula, has been a highly debated issue in Ohio and elsewhere for several years.
That quote from the Star Beacon is interesting because it directly conflates ID and creationism, something that are trying to avoid. But I digress.
Piper said his daughter is a straight A student and failed her test on the “big bang theory” because she didn’t understand it.
“We’re Christians,” he said. “I couldn’t even help her because I don’t understand it.”
Any Christians reading this? He’s suggesting that there is a link between being Christian and being not very smart. There are, of course, many layers here. The issue of the origin of life is connected to the “Big Bang Theory” in only the vaguest way. (The Big Bang eventually resulted in the formation of Carbon and other important elements of life, but in a very complex way that can only be explained by … let’s see … physics…). Is this student in a physics class or a biology class? But again, I digress.
This, dear reader, is the truly scary part of the story:
Board of Education President Brad Lane said he was under the impression the district was teaching both sides of the issue, but PV Middle School Principal Andrew Kuthy said that is not the case.
“We teach what is out of the state curriculum,” Kuthy said.
Holy crap. This is like one of the California wild fires that just will not go out. You think you’ve got it under control (Dover) but there are tiny little embers everywhere, each one a potential new forest fire. But don’t’ worry, they’re on it:
Superintendent Jake Rose said the district would look into whether it could teach both views as part of the curriculum. Rose said he was going to do some research on the issue and speak with the district’s science consultant as to where the state stands on the issue.
“The big-bang theory has been around forever, but (the parent is) right; it’s just a theory,” Rose said.