It happens. A very large percentage of life science teachers are creationists. In Minnesota, and Minnesota is not that unusual, about half the population or more are creationists, but among life science teachers, that number is reduced by almost one half. In other words, one in three life science teachers are creationists, although most, one would hope, only barely so.
This does not mean that creationism is being taught in the classroom. Some, perhaps many, life science teachers who are creationists know to not teach creationism in the classroom. But I find it difficult to believe that their creationism does not affect their teaching, at the very least by reducing the emphasis they place on the mortar that holds all the bricks of life science together: Evolutionary theory itself.
Dale McGowan, of The Meming of LIfe blog (a secular parenting blog) has a son who suddenly finds himself in the classroom of a creationistic physical science teacher. (See: Science, interrupted). McGowan addressed this problem by writing a letter to the teacher. I like the letter, and I’m sure Dale will handle this very well, but I don’t recommend this approach. Dale’s letter is passive aggressive. Dale knows what the teacher is up to … indoctrinating the students into a mode in which when they encounter evidence for evolution they simply won’t accept it (read the posts to see the details) but the letter simply asks tough and well worded questions about what Dale’s child claims the teacher said in class.
You can’t win that kind of discussion. The teacher can (and I’m certain will) explain how the student misunderstood, how since the class is not really about evolution, this is not the emphasis, and will likely otherwise nitpick. In the end, the conversation among Dale, his son, this teacher, and one or more school administrators may look something like the history of the Evolution-Creationism ‘debate’ rather than what it should look like: A decisive take-down of a creationist teacher who is in violation of the law.
The teacher is doing something wrong, got caught, and it is perfectly reasonable for the parent, in a more or less irate manner but hopefully reasonably professionally, approaches the school administration (having first contacted, in person, someone at the National Center for Science Education) directly and issues a firm, clear, no-nonsense complaint.
There is also a discussion of this particular case going on at The Panda’s Thumb, and you should look at it. And, if you have any experiences yourself dealing with creationist teachers, please let us know.