When I go to meet the teachers or administrators at my daughter’s school, I whisper these words to each of them:
“I just want you to know that I’m involved in a number of organizations that seek to protect the quality of science education in our public schools. If you ever need any support, if you are ever getting any trouble from parents, administrators, whatever, you can rely on me to help, to put you in touch with whom you should speak, to talk to anyone you’d like me to talk to, or anything else you need.”
This recieves a nod and a side long glance that I try very hard to interpret but rarely can. Then, regardless, I follow up by whispering these words:
“Oh, and if you happen to be of the mind to push a little religion, creationism, whatever, into the classroom …. the I’ll be your worst nightmare. I’ll be the one on the other end of that career ending law suit.”
At this point, the science-supporters usually laugh heartily. The creationists also laugh. But nervously.
You may or may not have a child in school that gives you this wonderful opportunity to embarrass your son or daughter, but you can still call the principal or any of the members of the school board and let them know how you feel, as a citizen, taxpayer, and voter. And, if you like, you can do what I do periodically: Give your school principle or science teacher a gift. Today, I’m recommending a copy of a book that outlines the nightmares of being in a school system that becomes a battle ground for science education vs. creationism.
Lauri Lebo covered the famous Dover Creationism Trial as a reporter. She was also a local citizen who lived the experience from the point of view of someone who’s home turf became a national battle ground. She also had a father who was very much on the creationist side in this fight, while Lauri supported good science education, so the Dover trial was personal in yet another way.
Everyone in Dover suffered because of the Dover trial, especially the school. It cost money, it cost time, it cost warehouses full of emotional energy. No community should have to undergo something like this, and no school system should be burdened with being the testing ground for a major federal court decision.
And, for this reason, if you are a reacher or a parent concerned with quality science education, you need to pick up a copy of Lauri Lebo’s book, The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America, and give it to your favorite school administrator or school board member. Perhaps anonymously (if you are a teacher) or perhaps quite overtly (if you are a parent).
At the beginning of every school year, I try to post new and “the best of” blog posts specifically written for teachers. If you want to see this year’s “back to school special” posts in a list, click here. I’ll be posting these items through the month of September. There will likely be one or two items new every day.
Please feel free to send a link to all your teacher friends so they know about it!!!! And, if there is something you’d like to see discussed, let me know.