Creationist Candidate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

THIS is the second time we’ve written about South Dakota recently. The first was South Dakota: America’s Dumbest State?

In the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that state’s largest city, we read Candidates differ on sex ed. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The intersection of education and religion separated three otherwise like-minded candidates in a fast-paced Sioux Falls School Board voter forum Thursday that covered 21 topics in one hour.

That’s a busy intersection, so this sounds like a wild event. Let’s see:

Questions from the audience and forum organizers at the Instructional Planning Center included whether the public schools should teach creationism alongside evolution and whether sex education should be comprehensive or abstinence-only.

We’ve often wondered how one would teach “abstinence-only.” We imagine the entire semester consists of the teacher exhorting his teen-aged students: “Don’t do it! Just don’t!” Then the final exam has a series of multiple-choice questions: “Should you engage in performing X?” “Or Y?” “Or Z?” And the possible answers to each question are: “Yes, No, Maybe.” That would be an intellectually challenging class.

How did the candidates handle the abstinence issue?

Hallickson, who works at the Abstinence Clearinghouse, defended abstinence programs as well-rounded curricula. She said only students 16 and older should get comprehensive sex ed, and said it’s not unreasonable to ask teens to abstain from sex. “My husband and I were both virgins on our wedding night,” she added.

That must have been some wedding night! We continue:

Alberty, who served on the committee that created the middle-school sex ed curriculum, said those lessons are “very effective.” He said abstinence is a good goal for students, but not every teen will make that choice.

Those who make the wrong choice deserve a big F. Here’s more:

Westra said a public school’s role is to give students age-appropriate lessons on the health aspects of sex, not teach religious values. “As far as much more than that, I think it needs to be done at home,” she said.

Wow, a rational response! Okay, that’s enough about sex. Let’s get to the creationism question: Should the public schools should teach creationism alongside evolution?

Julie Westra and incumbent Kent Alberty offered simple no’s to the creationism question.

Hey — not bad! Note that Westra gave an acceptable answer on the sex education question too. What about the third candidate — the wedding night virgin? Here’s what she said:

Jenay Hallickson said she understands the argument that if schools teach one viewpoint, they should teach the other. “I don’t know that I could give a concrete yes or no answer,” she said.

So there you are. If the good folks of Sioux Falls want their schools to teach abstinence and creationism, they should definitely vote for Jenay Hallickson.

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15 responses to “Creationist Candidate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  1. Michael Fugate

    If we could only get indviduals like Ms Hallickson to abstain from procreation….

  2. Curmy said in a deep, deep, voice “Those who make the wrong choice deserve a big F”

    Great line Curmster. I wish I had thought of it.

  3. I knew you’d get it, Tundra Boy.

  4. “…covered 21 topics in one hour.”
    Which gives each candidate less than a minute per topic. I take it there were a lot of yes/no answers. Nothing like a rousing debate to help voters determine the best choice.

  5. I didn’t say I would ever vote to teach creationism in public schools actually. I actually think that the work of Charles Darwin was genius. I believe in natural selection.

    Yes, it was one minute per question, so it was very quick answers. I love how you’re trying to make it seem like I want to be on the school board to change the sex ed curriculum taught. I actually think the sex ed curriculum now is just fine.

    I don’t have a preset agenda for joining the school board and I don’t think that every teen will abstain from sex, that would be pretty naive on my part.

    If you want to know what I really think, you can just ask, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be as fun for you or your readers.

    And yes, it was quite a wedding night! Jealous much?

  6. retiredsciguy

    Jenay, it’s good to hear that you understand how natural selection is the driving force behind evolution. However, take a tip from a retired teacher — if you’re running for school board, take the time to proofread everything you write. The word is “genius”, not “genious”.

    What’s more troubling, though, is this statement:
    “Jenay Hallickson said she understands the argument that if schools teach one viewpoint, they should teach the other. “I don’t know that I could give a concrete yes or no answer,” she said.”

    Now, think about that for a moment. If the schools teach that the earth is a sphere, should they also teach the other viewpoint, promoted by the Flat Earth Society? No, of course not. It is settled science that the earth is a sphere.

    So it is with evolution. It is not just “some theory”, despite some groups’ proclamations otherwise. It is settled science, and has been for over a century. What is theory is Darwin’s insight of natural selection being the driving force behind evolution.

    When it comes to science, there is no other viewpoint about evolution. Creationism and its offshoot Intelligent Design have been found by the courts to be religious belief only, unsupported by any scientific evidence. As such, the courts have ruled that they have no place within the public schools’ classrooms. Any school board that acts otherwise will be facing very expensive legal action.

    About sex ed, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all parents were capable and willing to do a responsible job of teaching thier children about sex themselves? Here’s an idea for your school board — an Adult Ed class on how to talk to your kids about sex.

  7. @retiredsciguy

  8. JenayH, thanks for dropping in. You say:

    I love how you’re trying to make it seem like I want to be on the school board to change the sex ed curriculum taught.

    Sex ed and creationism were the only issues the newspaper wrote about. On both issues, your position was … well, noteworthy. Sex ed isn’t what we write about here, but it’s impossible not to notice that it’s often an issue with creationists.

    I’ve been at this a long time, and when anyone waffles on evolution, even a little bit, I suspect that creationism is the reason.

    You now say “I believe in natural selection.” So do creationists — after Noah’s Ark. But then they do the “micro yes, macro no” dance and insist that one scriptural “kind” can’t change into another. When I hear a couple of notes, I’m pretty sure I know the tune. Perhaps I’ve got it wrong in your case. If so, and if you were misrepresented by the press, it’s something you can easily fix by issuing a clear statement on the subject.

  9. Good show, retiredsciguy. I can sleep more soundly, knowing you’re on the job.

  10. Well with one minute to answer each question, it’s hard not to be misrepresented a bit – and sorry for the spelling error.


  11. JenayH, I’ve fixed the spelling problem. It happens to all of us. No big deal.

  12. Curmudgeon: “Should the public schools should teach creationism alongside evolution?”

    C’mon, you know that even the DI would say “no” if it’s asked that way. What I would ask is “Should students learn the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ of evolution that are promoted by anti-evolution activists specifically to promote unreasonable doubt and mislead students about evolution and the nature of science?”

  13. retiredsciguy

    Thanks for the kind words, Curmy & RogerE.

    And Jenay, I didn’t intend to embarrass you by pointing out the minor spelling error. I just want to make the point that you don’t want to give your opponents an easy way to dismiss what you have to say, especially when you’re running for office. Let your ideas be judged on their own merits.

  14. Aw, thanks. I think you guys are just impressed I showed up.


  15. Well, Jenay’s got my vote.