Friday, February 18, 2011

A Move to Repeal the Louisiana “Academic Freedom” Bill

Panda's Thumb points us to an article by Lauri Lebo on the movement afoot to repeal the “stealth creationism” bill that was passed in Louisiana in 2008, allowing public school teachers latitude about what to bring into class as supplemental material when teaching about evolution and to emphasize the “weaknesses” of the theory. She writes of David Kopplin, a high school student who is challenging the bill. She writes:

I’ve long had a soft spot for young people standing up to religious bullying. So I want to give a shout out to Zack Kopplin, a Baton Rouge Magnet High School Senior. Kopplin is leading a campaign to repeal the stealth creationist law that is the 2008 Louisiana Science Eduction Act.

In December, Kopplin stood up to the Louisiana Family Forum, a Christian organization that had been trying to get creationist-language inserted into state public school textbooks. LFF members had argued that the proposed textbooks were biased in favor of evolution. (Reality is just so unfair!) Kopplin led a campaign to lobby the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to side with sound science. Due in large part to his efforts, board members, by an 8-2 vote, agreed to proceed with the purchase of biology textbooks.

As Ms. Lebo writes, Louisiana is the only state that passed one of these bills that was proposed but a whole mess of them were proposed in different states across the nation. Given what happened in Livingston Parrish a few months back, I hope he succeeds.

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