THIS news comes from Florida’s Alachua County. It’s a bit inland from that enchanted region we’ve been calling The Florida Ark, but it certainly qualifies for inclusion. The Florida what? According to the Curmudgeon’s Glossary:
The Florida Ark is that concave stretch of coast — an arc, get it? — starting at the Alabama border and then sweeping down the shore of the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Tampa, and a bit beyond. This blessed region is home to a great number of creationists.
One might think that the population of a college town would be somewhat better educated than elsewhere, but that seems not to be so. We find this article in the Gainesville Sun: Should creationism be taught in schools?
This is going to be a somewhat difficult story to tell because the website of the Gainesville Sun says:
You may link to anything you like on gainesville.com or its family of sites. However, all contents are the property of The Gainesville Sun. You may not republish any of the contents of gainesville.com, including photos, text, images and/or other items, electronically or otherwise without express written consent of The Gainesville Sun.
We think their policy is idiotic, but we’ll comply. After searching around for a more cooperative news source, and finding none that have written about this school board election, we’ll have to paraphrase what’s in their article. We will, however, run the risk of quoting a couple of phrases spoken by the candidates. Okay, here we go:
Twelve candidates are running for three seats on the Alachua County School Board. Eight of them showed up at a forum held at some retirement home (how thrilling!) and the question of teaching creationism was raised.
One genius named Bonnie Burgess, running for a seat in District 1, said that “it seems only logical” to teach creationism, because “all facts and theories” should be offered.
April Griffin, another genius, said that teaching creationism was part of a “well-balanced education” that would open the kiddies’ minds. And then another one — Felicia Moss — said the same thing.
Rick Nesbitt is opposed, except for maybe in a philosophy course, and he mentioned separation of church and state; David Palpant seems to agree.
Now we turn to District 3. Two of those candidates, Wayne Gabb and Jodi Wood (Jodi was absent from the forum, apparently) say that creationism should be taught along with evolution. Gunnar Paulson is the only candidate in that race who doesn’t want creationism in the schools.
On to District 5. Jennifer Deachin says creationism is okay in a religion course but not in science. Carol Oyenarte mentioned separation of church and state, but not much else. Christopher Smiley said something that we can’t figure out, and then there’s Jancie Vinson, who was represented at the forum by her preacher — a Methodist. According to him, Janice doesn’t favor teaching creationism.
The article also says that 24 August is the date of the primary election.
From what we make of it, assuming we can rely on the Gainesville Sun, the sane choices are: District 1 — Rick Nesbitt or David Palpant; District 3 — Gunnar Paulson; and District 5 — Jennifer Deachin or Jancie Vinson. So there you are.
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