Scopes Trial II Evolves Slowly

Oral arguments were heard at the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 11, in the appeal challenging the Foundation’s February 2002 victory evicting bible classes from public schools in Rhea County, Tenn.

Attorneys Alvin Harris and Joel Johnston of Nashville, representing the Foundation and its Tennessee plaintiffs, report that the panel of judges appeared unmoved by the Rhea County School Board’s argument that bible instruction should be considered part of the state’s “character education” curriculum. “Sunday School” lessons were taught for more than 60 years by fundamentalist students from William Jennings Bryan College to fifth graders during school hours.

A decision on the appeal is expected by summer. Rhea County’s county seat is Dayton, site of the famous 1925 Scopes trial about teaching evolution in the public schools.

Freedom From Religion Foundation