Caddo Teacher Under Fire For Teaching God and Creationism Instead of Evolution Alone
It looks to me as though God could be put on trial here in the heart of the Bible Belt. In the last few days a local teacher's letter to The Times has ruffled the feathers of the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Because of this letter, the ACLU has requested the Caddo Parish School Board to investigate if teachers might be illegally teaching Creationism.
In the letter to The Times, the self-described 5th grade teacher stated that she presents both evolution and creationism and, when asked, tells her students her beliefs. Obviously, "Creationism" discusses our creation by God, thus is deemed a "religous belief." The ACLU responded with a letter stating that the teacher might be illegally promoting her personal religious beliefs in a public classroom.
In the letter, the teacher states, “My job is to present both, tell what I personally believe, only because they ask, and they always, always ask, and let them decide, but I will never ever teach what goes against so many of these children’s beliefs, morals and what their parents have worked so hard to instill in their hearts.”
The "legality issues" stem from the 1987 Supreme Court opinion striking down a Louisiana law that required schools that teach evolution to give equal time to creationism. The law was struck down as an effort by government to promote religion.
According to the ACLU, "this teacher goes beyond her First Amendment right to freedom of expression if she does what she describes in her letter." And further, “While teachers and school officials enjoy the full range of religious-liberty rights in their personal capacities, they are not entitled to use their government positions to promote and impose their personal religious beliefs on students.”
On a personal note, my question is "How can this be right?" We're instructed to teach a theory and legally forbidden from providing the truth? I spoke with my son, who's a 9th grader at Haughton High School and he told me that indeed he was instructed on evolution only while in the 6th grade and that creation was never discussed. This is startling on so many levels but my biggest issue is, "Where have I been?" How did this happen and I wasn't even aware of it.
Seems to me that "The land of the free" might not be so "FREE" after all!