The other day, a science teacher remarked that a student who had previously declared herself to be a creationist, and who’s parents had previously expressed concern over the teaching of evolution, was suddenly all talky-talky and engaging the teacher in more or less polite and friendly discussion about the topic, coming to visit the teacher outside of class and everything.
I thought at the time, “That’s unusual. But it does happen.”
What I wasn’t thinking is that a recent court decision supports the idea of a teacher who teaches evolution to christians, who does not cave when the christians complain about it, can be reassigned, fired, or otherwise be harassed and have the backing of the courts. I wonder. Was this student acting on instructions? Does the creationist community, and they do talk to each other, have a plan to try to trap a few science teachers, to get them fired, for not bowing to their religious demands? Probably not. Probably, I’m just being paranoid. But just in case, if you are a science teacher, you need to know that a federal court just decided that you can be punished if you teach evolution. At least in North Carolina.
Way back in 2005 a young girl was subjected to the teaching of evolution by her teacher, Pamela Hensley. In science class, no less. The girl was probably antagonistic and rude, and probably didn’t get it, and probably did what a lot of creationist kids did: Got all dumb when it came time for exams, and thus, got a poor grade.
Naturally, her christian parents complained on the grounds that the teacher was “antagonistic and rude when her beliefs are challenged by true ‘Christian’ students.” The school investigated and found no ground for complaint, but the parents persisted, demanding an apology, demanding that the teacher be transferred to different duties, and, of course, demanding that the curriculum be revised in order that their religious beliefs thereafter be forced on to the students in the public school classroom.
The teacher was in fact asked to sign a written apology, but since it contained blatant untruths, she refused. She was then transferred to other duties.
In 2007, Hensley filed a complaint in local court. which was moved to District federal court. under the first and fourteenth amendments, the North Carolina Constitution, and various statutes including the 1964 Civil Rights act. A few days ago, Judge James C. Fox essentially dismissed the complaints.
Yes, according to a North Carolina district federal court, if you are a science teacher, and you teach science, and a parent does not like that, you’re fucked.
North Carolina. One of the STUPID STATES.