Children suffer in Louisiana as Christian conservatives force creationism into the public school science classroom.
A depressing report out of Louisiana reveals that creationism is being taught to children in public school science classrooms, and that some students read the Book of Genesis in order to learn the ‘science’ of creationism in biology class.
Zack Kopplin, writing for Slate, obtained emails via a public records request from the Bossier Parish school district. The results are disturbing and disappointing, and reveal a school district that is using time in the science classroom to indoctrinate students into the mysteries of Christian fundamentalism.
For example, Shawna Creamer, a science teacher at Airline High School, wrote the following in an email to Principal Jason Rowland:
We will read in Genesis and them [sic] some supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the students will present.
This is simply outrageous. A science teacher assigning the Book of Genesis as required reading in a science class in order to “debunk” evolution, apparently with the full approval of the school’s principal.
The research by Kopplin shows multiple, flagrant examples of so-called science teachers promoting Christian creationism in the public school science classroom.
Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education notes:
We know that one in eight high school biology teachers advocate for creationism, even though it’s unconstitutional. These emails make clear that many teachers are interpreting the Louisiana Science Education Act as allowing such unconstitutional and scientifically-misleading lessons.
One in eight science teachers advocate for creationism? How can any science teacher in good conscience advocate for religious superstition over science?
Kopplin explains the Louisiana Science Education Act:
The Louisiana Science Education Act, passed by the state legislature in 2008, permits science teachers to use supplemental materials to “critique” evolution, opening a backdoor that these teachers are using, as intended, to teach creationism. Such lessons are allowed under this Louisiana law, but they are illegal under federal law.
Students reading the Book of Genesis to learn creationism in a public school biology class is appalling, and a gross violation of the public trust. Yet the problems run much deeper at the the Bossier Parish school district.
One email in particular exposes the depth of the Christian indoctrination going on at the district. Teacher Carolyn Goodwin writes:
Bossier [school district] has it’s [sic] problems but there are so many awesome Christians from the top down. We pray at school functions and probably break the law all the time!!
Apparently in at least one Louisiana school district, breaking the law and abusing children by teaching religious superstition as science is perfectly acceptable. A public school district where “awesome Christians” posing as teachers take delight in subverting the science education of children, while breaking the law to promote their feeble religious superstitions. And, as always, it is the children that suffer.