Teaching the ‘Truth About Dinosaurs’ a mammoth mistake (April 16, 2013)

Following a complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Missouri elementary school will no longer host guest speakers who attempt to indoctrinate students with misinformation about science, history and reality.

A concerned parent reached out to FFRF after students as young as five years at Blackhurst Elementary School, St. Charles, Mo., attended a school assembly at the beginning of April featuring a speaker connected to the Creation Truth Foundation. The speaker talked about dinosaurs and passed out fliers that encouraged students to attend ‘Creation Truth Weekend’ at Harvester Christian Church.

The Creation Truth Foundation is a fundamentalist Christian group that professes:

“The full historicity and accuracy of the Biblical record of primeval history, including the literal existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse on the creation, the worldwide cataclysmic flood, and the origin of the nations and languages at the tower of Babel.”

It also promotes “research” that claims Americans’ only hope is to blindly follow the literal truth of the bible, obediently following the rules set out in the bible and no questions.

FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott contacted Dr. Jeff Marion, the superintendent of the School District of the City of St. Charles, in an April 15 letter. Elliott asked the district to investigate the incident and ensure similar presentations or assemblies are not allowed in the future.

“We are aware that some Christian proselytizers insinuate themselves into public schools through camouflaging their purposes and by professing to be experts in a secular field,” Elliott said. “It is incumbent that public officials do ‘due diligence’ when approached by outside groups with vested interests in pitching their messages to a captive audience of public school students.”

Elliott pointed out that in the United States it has been firmly established that teaching creationism or any of its offshoots is unacceptable, and that curriculums should be based on concepts that use scientific evidence, i.e., evolution.

Marion responded in an April 16 letter, agreeing that parts of the assembly were inappropriate. He said he contacted the principal of Blackhurst Elementary School to reinforce “the importance of verifying the specific nature of any and all presentations held at school.”

He also said he reminded the principal about district policies regarding the distribution of non-school sponsored materials, and has ensured future similar incidents would not occur.

Freedom From Religion Foundation