Friday, April 14, 2006
Humorectomies In Kansas
State Board of Education member Connie Morris took exception Wednesday to a picture of a made-up creature that satirizes the state’s new science standards hanging on a Wichita middle school teacher’s door. ...
The creature, called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is the creation of Bobby Henderson of Corvallis, Ore. It looks like a clump of spaghetti with two eyes sticking out of the top and two meatballs flanking the eyes.
Henderson created the entity and an accompanying mythology on the origin of mankind to make fun of Kansas’ recent debate over the teaching of criticisms of evolution, including intelligent design. ...
[Fellow board member Sue] Gamble [who voted against the change in the standards] said that when Morris saw the picture, she asked the principal, who was on the tour, to take it down. [Principal Kenneth] Jantz did not comment for this report.
Gamble said she didn’t see Morris talk to Randy Mousley, the teacher, or to the principal, but that she later went up to Mousley and asked if Morris said anything to him about the picture.
That’s when Gamble learned that Morris had asked the principal to take it down.
The monster’s picture has hung on the door since September or October and was put up there as a joke, Mousley said.
“It’s a parody,” he said. “It’s just making fun of anti-evolution.”
Mousley said he doesn’t teach students about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Also on the door is a Doonesbury comic strip about science, said board member Carol Rupe, who represents Wichita. She also voted against the new standards.
“It was two little pieces of paper on the door,” she said. “It was poking good fun.”
Gamble said she told the principal that it was his decision whether the monster could stick around.
“I advised the principal that Morris has no authority,” she said. “I told him to deal with his staff as he saw fit, not by what a state board member says.”