School resumes teaching science not religion in the classroom (March 13, 2014)

Eureka Union School District in Granite Bay, Calif., will no longer permit a teacher to ‘teach the controversy” about evolution during science class.

According to a complainant, a teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School routinely taught creationism and intelligent design during science instruction. The teacher claimed that it is legally required to “present both sides of the issue.” The strategy apparently consisted of giving the students a bag of popcorn and a sheet of paper with a complicated design, telling them to repeatedly let popcorn fall on the paper. If the popcorn did not form the complicated design, then, the teacher told them, it shows that evolution must be unreasonable.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter of complaint to the District on March 4, which summarized federal and Supreme Court rulings striking down creationism, including under the guise of ‘alternative theories’”:

“Evolution is not a ‘theory’ in the layperson’s sense of the word. Evolution is a ‘scientific theory.’ This difference is crucial. A misunderstanding of these terms often leads to a misunderstanding of evolution, the vast weight of evidence supporting evolution, and of its overwhelming acceptance in the scientific community. . . Putting creationism, intelligent design, or any other creatively named offspring in public school is undoubtedly unconstitutional.”

The district responded on March 13, thanking and assuring FFRF that the complaint was immediately addressed and appropriate action had been taken.

Freedom From Religion Foundation