Friday, January 14, 2005
Federal Judge Orders Georgia School District to Remove Evolution Disclaimers
A federal judge today ruled that placing disclaimer stickers warning that evolution is "a theory, not a fact" in public school science textbooks is an unconstitutional government intrusion on religious liberty.
The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit against the Cobb County School District brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia on behalf of five local parents. The parents argued that the disclaimer stickers would send the message to their children that they should reject the scientific theory of evolution in favor of religious viewpoints on origin.
"The school district gave evolution second-class status among all scientific theories and, at the same time, gave advantage to a specific religious viewpoint that rejects evolution," said Maggie Garrett, an ACLU of Georgia staff attorney who argued the case.
The Cobb County School District approved the evolution disclaimer in 2002, in response to criticism that the new science textbooks chosen by the administration did not include information about creationism or "intelligent design." District Court Judge Clarence Cooper wrote in today’s decision that, "the sticker sends a message to those who oppose evolution for religious reasons that they are favored members of the political community, while the sticker sends a message to those who believe in evolution that they are political outsiders."
Cooper ordered the school district to remove all stickers immediately.
Posted by C. at 10:06 AM