So far, that’s perfectly legal. They even paid rent to the district for the meeting space.
Last week’s kickoff meeting for LACES served as a strategy session for the 150 attendees, with organizers sharing ways to spread the good word at work without breaking the rules laid down by separation of church and state — and Kentucky law.
Again, that all sounds fine.
But is it really possible for teachers to “spread the good word” at work without breaking any laws…? Southern High School Principal Bryce Hibbard addressed that concern directly:
Hibbard and other speakers told the teachers present that it was perfectly acceptable under Kentucky law to teach biblical creationism in addition to evolution in science classes, and he suggested future meetings with biology teachers to craft curriculum.
“I taught biology for 20 years in this state and didn’t know that if evolution is part of the curriculum, that I could have been teaching creation,” Hibbard said. “I thought I was sneaky if I had the kids … present it. So it was presented in my classroom by the kids, but I could have been doing it and didn’t know that.”
“It is not true that in science classes you’re not allowed to talk about creation or intelligent design,” [Christian Educators Association director Roger] Dillon said.
That wasn’t all he told them:
Addressing a common theme of the night — the kids who aren’t taken to church, and therefore “have no hope” — Hibbard told the crowd they should be missionaries to students, planting the seed of Christ.
Did I mention Hibbard was a principal?
Hibbard — and all the other speakers and attendees at that meeting — believe that it’s their job, not to teach the students, but to evangelize to them, to “save” them from a hell they created in their own minds. It’s unprofessional, unethical, and something that would cause a much greater stir if this was a meeting of atheist educators, Muslims educators, or Pagan educators.
At least the district superintendent, Donna Hargens, had the good sense to set everyone straight:
In an email to JCPS principals the day after the LACES meeting, Superintendent Donna Hargens noted that “Creationism and Intelligent Design are not part of the state science curriculum standards and are not taught.”
But what’s she going to do about Principal Hibbard, knowing that his primary goal is to win tally marks for Christ, not educate the next generation? Just let it all slide? No meetings? No repercussions? Is she just going to pretend like this never happened?
In what other job can an employee encourage his colleagues to break the law and not get even the slightest hint of reprimand from the boss?
It makes no sense — and it would never happen if the religion in question was anything but Christianity.
(Thanks to Tony for the link)