School’s ‘debate’ over creationism ended (February 21, 2017)

Faculty in a Texas school district will no longer be weaseling Christianity into its curriculum after FFRF attorneys took action.

Mark Sevarino, biology teacher at McKinney North High School, had distributed a written assignment to students setting up two sides of a debate about whether to teach creationism in science classes. The handout used creationist rhetoric and introduced students to common creationist beliefs.

In a letter to the district on Feb. 7, FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover informed the school district that attempts to smuggle religion into science classrooms as “alternative theories” had failed in court.

“Courts have consistently held that creationism is a religious concept without scientific merit,” wrote Grover. “We worry that Sevarino is similarly attempting to present creationism as a viable scientific alternative to evolution through a classroom assignment.”

Grover went on to express FFRF’s concern over an advertisement to parents for a private religious ministry program which had been distributed via email by a school district staff member.

Crawford responded on Feb. 21 to inform FFRF that Mr. Sevarino’s assignment was intended to be in line with curricular goals and not to advance a religious message. The district also took action to ensure that no staff member would promote an exclusively religious event in the future.

Freedom From Religion Foundation