The story about Creationist school board in Brunswick Co, NC is now getting some legs:
The board allowed Fanti to speak longer than he was allowed, and at the end of his speech he volunteered to teach creationism and received applause from the audience. When he walked away, school board Chairwoman Shirley Babson took the podium and said another state had tried to teach evolution and creationism together and failed, and that the school system must teach by the law.
If you wonder why American children are falling behind the rest of the world in science, look no further than the Brunswick County school board.
While educators and policy makers debate how to improve the teaching of science and mathematics in American schools, the Board of Education has been talking about ways to teach creationism alongside evolution. Fortunately, the state put the brakes on this idea before it could get rolling.
Members of the Brunswick County, N.C., School Board seem to be having problems telling the difference between science and theology.
All four members of the board are looking for a way to bring creationism into the classroom, reported the Wilmington Star-News. The issue arose after a parent, Joel Fanti, criticized the schools for teaching evolution.
The school board is expected to talk about the issue at its next meeting on October 7, 2008. A spokesperson from the State Department of Public Instruction told WWAY the state is required to follow national standards on teaching evolution which students are tested on. School boards can act independently on certain standards but risk the possibility of legal action being taken by civil liberties groups.
But neither creationism nor the related "intelligent design," which says life forms are so complex only a higher power could have created them, may be taught as a required course of study, Edd Dunlap, science section chief for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, said Wednesday. These are considered religious teachings and may not be taught in science class or as fact, although they may be included as part of an elective, such as a course on religion or philosophy, he said.
While evolution is a course of study that must be taught in public schools, based on national standards, creationism is not, Dunlap said. Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties all follow the evolution curriculum.
Atkinson says schools across the state are taking a new interest in teaching that God created human life.
"It's a trend that goes and comes. Sometimes it's a big issue in pockets of North Carolina, and then years go by and it's not an issue," said Atkinson.
But, it is an issue right now in Brunswick County. The school board is looking into teaching creationism and evolution side by side.
As you may have noticed, all of those articles are in local press from SE North Carolina, mainly from Wilmington in neighboring New Hanover County. Perhaps we can speed this thing up a little and nick this in the bud if we spread the news (with required attendant ridicule) across the globe...so blog about it!
Also, if you live in that area and want to help, let me know....