School officials say the assignment, in which the teacher gave his students the option of doing an extra-credit project on evolution or creationism, was inappropriate because the state curriculum doesn’t include creationism. The situation at Wakefield Middle School in North Raleigh highlights the challenge public schools face when discussing how life began...At Wakefield, eighth-grade science teacher Adam Dembrow gave students an extra-credit opportunity last month to do a poster and paper either on “your interpretation of a religions (sic) Creation” or on “any evidence on the theory of evolution, which can be used to support the theory of evolution.”Much is unclear in this report. Is he trying to get his students to understand the shortcomings of the YEC model? Is he trying to get them to compare standard science with YEC? Even I make cursory mention of the YEC model in my “History of Science” lecture for my intro to physical anthropology class. I also have, as an extra credit assignment, assigned a question such as "read an article on the intersection of science and religion and evaluate it." Additionally, it is never a problem to give an assignment asking students to address evidence for evolution. That gets them into the evidence, itself.
While the recent Tennessee law is clearly a bad idea, I do not think that we need to jump out of our skins every time a teacher mentions the young earth model. That is just overreacting.
It has always been my contention that if we actually brought creationism into the classroom and taught the evidence for it honestly and with scientific integrity, students would see it for the stinkweed that it is and not embrace it.