Ohio school board considers creationism education

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SPRINGBORO, Ohio  — Board members of a southwest Ohio school district are keeping on the table a proposal to add creationism to the curriculum.

Despite an outcry from some parents and civil rights groups, the Springboro Board of Education decided Tuesday night to allow for future discussion of that and other contested issues.

“I want to allow that discussion to happen,” board President Kelly Kohls said. “We’re going to leave it on first reading for quite a while.”

The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/10YfIKb ) reports that the board heard more criticism from parents, teachers and others in the meeting who were upset creationism was still being considered for the curriculum. The issue was also discussed in a May 23 board meeting.

“I’d like to challenge the board to stop the distractions,” parent Lisa Babb said.

“None of the teachers have been talked to about this,” said Sarah Thornberry, teacher, librarian and union representative. “Please keep it out of the science classroom.”

Creationism is the belief that Earth and its creatures were created by a deity. The theory of evolution says that all living organisms descended from a common ancestral gene pool.

According to the website for the suburban school district south of Dayton, other “controversial issues” could also be added to the curriculum, including a debate over abortion rights, legalization of drugs, and gun rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have expressed opposition, saying teaching creationism would promote a religion in a public school.

However, the Warren County tea party is urging supporters to write to the Springboro district to show their backing.

“Will you stand up for our children by telling education it is right to teach students that manmade global warming, evolution and many other topics are controversial, and there are at least two sides, and they must question the resources,” the tea party wrote.

The ACLU earlier this year sued a school board in Jackson over a Jesus portrait that had hung for decades in a school hallway. The school system decided to remove it because of concerns about legal costs.