Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Feathers and Fuss
There is a frightening story about the abuse a teacher with a 29 year career had to undergo because she taught evolution in a northeast Georgia middle school. Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, Pat New started teaching evolution to the students in her Life Science class at Lumpkin County Middle School. She had been warned against doing so by other teachers despite the fact that she was just teaching from the book provided to her by the school system.
It is not particularly surprising that parents complained but the attitude of the school officials is puzzling:
She says she was constantly pulled out of her classroom for conferences about why she was teaching Evolution. Once she proved it was part of state standards, the backlash from administrators stopped.
"In 2004, the Spring of 2004, they finally accepted the National Standards for teaching Science. In those national standards Evolution was a big part of it."
But it naturally took its toll:
After her story was picked up by the New York Times she started receiving letters of support from all over the country. She continued teaching throughout the 2006 school year, but then retired a year early. While she has good memories of her ten years in Lumpkin County, the whole battle left a bad taste in her mouth and she's ready to move on.
And I bet there are parents who think that is a good thing for their kids. Evolution isn't the only thing they're dead wrong about.