According to the Kenyon Collegian, the student newspaper of Kenyon College, located in Gambier, Ohio, there has been a massive outbreak of creationism in the election campaign for the Mount Vernon Board of Education. Their story is Candidate Supports Religion in Schools.
There are thousands of local school boards in America, and we usually ignore them. Everyone knows they’re often comprised of funeral directors, used-car dealers, insurance salesmen, and dentists’ wives. But this election is particularly interesting because Mount Vernon has struggled for years over the unending John Freshwater fiasco. Here are some excerpts from the Kenyon Collegian, with bold font added by us:
Six Mount Vernon Board of Education candidates will contest three seats in the local election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The candidates, Margie Bennett (incumbent), Jeffrey Cline, Marie Curry, Cheryl Feasel, Jolene Goetzman (incumbent) and Stephen Kelly, are all non-partisan, but some of their campaign promises have become controversial.
This sounds like fun. Stick around:
Cline’s support for teaching religion and creationism in the schools’ science curriculums and Kelly’s desire to let students “decide for themselves which evidence seems more convincing” have sparked a movement of concerned Mount Vernon parents and community members.
There’s no end to this madness, is there? Let’s read on:
Many citizens who remember the 2008 John Freshwater incident especially object to creationism entering school curriculums. Freshwater taught science at Mount Vernon Middle School until it came out that he burnt a cross into the arm of a student during a science experiment and gave extra credit assignments like watching pro-intelligent design documentaries. He was officially fired in January of this year, though his case is still in court.
As we know so well. Let’s continue:
At a “Meet the Candidate” event in Mount Vernon on Oct. 27, Cline addressed the importance of teachers putting their Christian values into their lessons despite the risk of another expensive lawsuit like Freshwater’s, which has now cost the schools almost $2 million.
“As it stands today, with the separation of church and state, the law is that you can’t preach religion from the classroom,” Cline said. “With that law, as bogus as I think it is, we have to agree with it for now. But I think as people in our communities we need to start challenging that.”
There are no words to describe such a human. Well, yes there are, plenty of them, but we have standards. Here’s more:
Kelly, who has worked balancing budgets for the Salvation Army for 20 years, would not confirm his position on teaching creationism. “I find it very interesting that this question keeps coming up,” Kelly said. “I have my own personal beliefs on the subject, but that’s not what I’m running on.” In a recent email to Woodward-Ginther, Kelly stated that he believes there is “considerable scientific evidence that challenges the assumptions of the old earth/evolutionary model.”
Those are the two geniuses in the race. Okay, so where are we? There are three positions on the school board and six candidates running for those positions — two of whom are incumbents. Among the four newcomers, two are flaming, hard-core, full-blown creationists. The election is only a few days away — this coming Tuesday, 08 November. If we learn of the results, we’ll let you know.
Addendum: We just went over to Panda’s Thumb to gloat that we had this story first, but we discovered that Richard B. Hoppe had this up for at least an hour before we posted: Mt. Vernon: An open letter to a school board candidate.
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