Creationism Banned in New Orleans Schools

The reports keep pouring in from our operatives in Louisiana that a significant victory was achieved yesterday at a meeting of the Orleans Parish School Board — one of several entities operating within the New Orleans public school system.

According to one of our most reliable sources, the Orleans Parish School Board voted yesterday to ban creationism from their schools. That’s big, but we don’t like to report things unless the news has appeared at the website of some recognized newspaper or TV station, so we’ve been holding off on this one.

Aha — the news is out! In the New Orleans Times-Picayune we read Orleans Parish School Board requires charters to join unified enrollment system. Goofy headline. The story begins:

The current Orleans Parish School Board closed out its term Tuesday with a decision that puts every public school in the city into the OneApp unified enrollment system — but possibly not until 2021.

Yuk! If that’s what they lead off with, you can imagine what a boring meeting it must have been. Hold on a minute while we scan for the creationism stuff …

Yes — here it is, with bold font added by us:

In addition Tuesday, the board approved construction contracts for a new North Kenilworth elementary school in eastern New Orleans and a new McDonogh 35 high school, and OK’d policies that prohibit the teaching of creationism or so-called “intelligent design” in its half-dozen direct-run schools, or the purchasing of textbooks that promulgate those perspectives.

Yowie — that’s hot news! The Times-Picayune really buried it in the story, but there it is. Unfortunately that’s all they have to say about it at the moment, but there will undoubtedly be more in later stories.

We have almost no knowledge of the New Orleans educational bureaucracy, but we understand that the Orleans Parish School Board doesn’t operate many of the public schools in New Orleans, so we don’t yet know the full meaning of what happened yesterday. But the news is certain to drive the creationists crazy — or rather, crazier.

We’ll keep you informed as news comes in. Stay tuned to this blog.

Addendum: Our friends at the National Center for Science Education have posted an article about this: A Louisiana board bans creationism. They say: “the only speaker on the textbook policy at the meeting was Zack Kopplin” Good old Zack!

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11 responses to “Creationism Banned in New Orleans Schools

  1. Woot! Texas! We’re in the news!

    Oh, wait, …

  2. For those of us who live in LA LA Land this is one bright candle in the creationist wind that blows through Louisiana. Kudos to the New Orleans School Board. Although creationists cannot do any thing about teaching their bogus ideas at the college level, this is a significant stand for K-12 public schools in LA LA Land (Its not just California any more).

  3. Charley Horse

    The link in that article……..has more info.
    Such as:….At Robichaux’s behest, the board has taken up policy changes that would specifically bar district teachers from injecting “any aspect of religious faith” into science courses. The new language even bans the use of textbooks that have been adjusted “in accordance with the state of Texas revisionist guidelines,” which highlight the role of Christianity in the country’s history. …….

    …..Robichaux would not say whether that’s because of incoming board member Leslie Ellison, who gained notice for taking a socially conservative stance in a dust-up at the state Legislature this spring. She testified in support of a bill to prohibit agencies from including sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. For that, the Forum for Equality, which has Robichaux as a board member, called her a “bigot” and endorsed her rival for the school board seat. ……….

  4. Guv Jindal, you’ve “failed to eject, dribbled off the bow of the carrier below flying speed, splashed into the water at 80 mph
    with your canopy closed, and within seconds, you have been run over by a supercarrier doing 30 knots…….. steel, barnacles and monster propellors, not friendly things to meet while underwater………..:)
    pandering, not a good idea………………..
    “Navy Perrry,Navy Perry” “you are Bingo fuel, low,and about to hit the fantail. Abort, abort”.:)

  5. Good for them. However, is there a scent of “freedom of speech” stench wafting in the air from the Dishonesty Institute?

  6. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education have posted an article about this: A Louisiana board bans creationism. They say: “the only speaker on the textbook policy at the meeting was Zack Kopplin” Good old Zack!

    We’ll include this as an addendum to the original post.

  7. There may be a freedom of speech stench, but the board statute seems pretty solid in that while they did single out creationism and intelligent design, they banned all religion in science classes.

    There is no problem with them discriminating unfairly, and the specificity is easily explained in the context of the Louisiana Science Education Act, so the DI can complain all they want and nothing will happen.

  8. Hey, Zack — ever consider relocating to Indiana? We need you here! We have a two-year-old voucher program that funnels millions of state dollars to Christian academies and parochial schools, a newly-elected creationist governor (Mike Pence), and a statehouse chuck full of creationists chomping at the bit to pass legislation mandating the teaching of creationism.

  9. Check out the article and comments on Jerry Coyne’s website:

  10. Hello Zack:
    I’ve never had a chance to thank you for the good work you’re doing in behalf of sanity and rationality there in Louisiana. Keep it up, and Merry Kitzmas!