Springboro School Board Still Wants Creationism

Yesterday we posted Springboro School Board — They’re Back!, about a scheduled vote by the Springboro School Board in Ohio on the topic of teaching creationism in schools. We first wrote about the situation here: Springboro School Board Wants Creationism. Then it turned out that last night’s vote was postponed. But now we learn that despite the postponement, there was some lively action at the Board meeting.

In the Dayton Daily News of Dayton, Ohio, of which Springboro is a suburb. we read Creationism stays on Springboro agenda. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Springboro’s debate over introducing creationism into local classrooms will continue.

That’s a great embarrassment for Dayton, but as a blogger we’re delighted. We love writing about school board folly. The story continues:

“I want to allow that discussion to happen,” Board President Kelly Kohls said. “We’re going to leave it on first reading for quite a while.”

We assume that leaving creationism “on first reading” means that it’s going to be an active item for all forthcoming meetings. Kelly Kohls is becoming a favorite around here. In our first post on this topic we gave you this link to the School Board’s website, where one can learn that Kelly is a professional nutritionist. Let’s read on in the Dayton Daily News:

Before leaving it as a discussion item, the board heard more critical comments from parents, teachers and other residents. “None of the teachers have been talked to about this. Please leave it out of the science classroom,” said Sarah Thornbery, a teacher, school libraian and union representative.

Uppity librarian! We continue:

The criticism continued from the previous meeting on May 23. In addition to local opposition, the ACLU of Ohio and Freedom from Religion Foundation have warned the board against making the change.

Kelly doesn’t care. Can you imagine what a creationist nutritionist must be like? “Eat your asparagus and read your Genesis!” Here’s more:

In 2011, Kohls suggested creationism be added as supplemental curriculum in the district, sparking protests at the local level and from the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation..

By now she’s heard all the arguments against her policy, and nothing has had any effect. She’s impervious to reason. Moving along:

“These policies violate constitutional principles,” Rebecca Markert, staff attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said in a letter mailed to Springboro Tuesday. “We urge the board to reject them.”

Also Tuesday, an email newsletter from the Warren County Tea Party urged supporters to write letters to the Springboro district supporting the controversial issues policy change.

The Tea Party is very decentralized. Our impression is that they’re mostly about limited government, lower taxes, lower debt, and lower spending; but some of the local organizations have their own pet issues. That’s how people like Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell get nominated. Here’s the last paragraph, and it’s an eye-opener:

“Will you stand up for our children by telling education it is right to teach students that man-made global warming, evolution and many other topics are controversial, and there are at least two sides, and they must question the resources,” the [Tea Party] newsletter said. Kohls also heads the local tea party.

We found another news story about last night’s meeting at the website of TV station WDTN: Springboro parents debate creationism. We’ll give you only a few excerpts about Kelly:

The board president says the purpose of the plan is to get students to think critically about controversial topics, but not everyone who came to Tuesday night’s meeting is behind it. One resident said, “This policy stifles critical thinking.”

[…]

“What we’re looking for in the policy is to create an environment where we can identify and discuss and debate openly, honestly, [both?] sides of controversial issues and the strengths and weaknesses of scientific issues or debates,” said Kelly Kohls, School Board President.

Critical thinking, both sides, strengths and weaknesses — oh yeah, she knows all the standard fuzz phrases. Who’s coaching her — Casey? We get the feeling that we haven’t heard the last of the Springboro School Board.

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23 responses to “Springboro School Board Still Wants Creationism

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    Kohls is quoted: “I want to allow that discussion to happen,” Board President Kelly Kohls said. “We’re going to leave it on first reading for quite a while.”

    Repetition of false controversies is straight out of the GOPAC training tapes that boosted many a politically rabid county dog-catcher or a dunce-capped school board member into national political prominence far beyond their intellectual ability to actually govern in a republic.

    I would guess that Kohls will make sure that future board meetings will allow for lots of video coverage. Film at 11.

  2. I think teaching Creationism as supplemental curriculum is a great idea.
    “Here’s the evidence for it:” (SFX: sound of crickets chirping)
    “Here’s the testable hypotheses and the data to support them:” (SFX: sound of crickets chirping)
    “Here’s the useful technological breakthroughs from it:” (SFX: sound of crickets chirping)

    Seriously, what the problem? It’s the best science lesson we could possibly teach.

  3. Well Mel that sounds like a good Idea but who’s the teacher that will do it???
    Whether unconstitutional or not makes no difference as the teachers will do what they are told to do or loose their jobs. And guess how many ways there are to fire someone and get away with it???

  4. Spector567

    I have to honestly ask. Why is local control a good thing?
    Teachers and parents are capable of using real life local examples. Providing local access to business. The students already know about there local area.

    National history and science does not change based on location and you certainly are not going to broaden your view points by hearing only what your local community thinks.

  5. Well Mel that sounds like a good Idea but who’s the teacher that will do it???

    Since this is taught as a science course, a science teacher. Remember, this is something proposed at the school board level, not something the individual teacher makes up.

    The take-away is that creationism/ID/booga-booga is something one can believe ONLY if one takes it as faith, not as science. And that’s OK, schools (at least public schools) aren’t in the faith business.

    As for teachers getting fired, well, wouldn’t it be nice if this were a lot easier to do? There are FAR too many incompetent teachers skating by because of union protection. That’s why we yanked our kids out of school and taught them ourselves.

  6. A few more nuggets on the redoubtable Kelly Kohls from the (sympathetic on other issues) EAG: Reform-minded school board attacks runaway labor costs in Springboro, Ohio. Extract from therein (concerning school district financing, not Creationism):

    Kohls’ self-described “kids first” approach has caused a lot of heartburn among Springboro’s school establishment. During her brief tenure on the board, district officials have publicly blamed Kohls for the defeat of a $6 million school levy, the departures of a superintendent, a district treasurer, a school board president and the large turnover in school administrators.

    ….[snip]…

    “Some people get so entrenched in the old philosophy that it’s tough to get them to think whether or not something is going to help the kids,” Kohls says of the criticism. “We need a different way of thinking.”

    But before giving her a smiley-face sticker for financial prudence, consider an article from the Dayton Daily News (June 3 2010): Springboro school board member has filed for bankruptcy.

  7. Megalonyx says: “consider an article from the Dayton Daily News (June 3 2010): Springboro school board member has filed for bankruptcy.”

    Great find! Now I have to consider calling her the bankrupt creationist nutritionist? Nah, too complicated. I’ll let that one go. But it’s interesting.

  8. How about if we call her a Starving Cdesinutritionist?

  9. I wonder if her bankruptcy had anything to do with the size of the house they are were living in, complete with its own little pond. (NOTE: Click on the link, then click on the “Bird’s Eye View” tab.) I realize that the cost of living in Ohio is nothing compared to what it is here on the Least Coast, but still.
    The rest here is pure speculation. If you start seeing financial difficulties coming on, you better plan ahead. That might include getting rid of a vehicle (or two, since they had three), possibly getting rid of the cable for the TV, possibly some of the cellphones and their expensive plans, and perhaps downgrade on the remaining vehicles. If you’re in reality-denying mode (and everything I’ve read says that she is in full-blown “why-let-reality-ruin-your-day” mode) and think some beneficent being is going to intervene on your behalf such that you can maintain whatever lifestyle you’re in, maybe you shouldn’t be making decisions that affect large numbers of other people.
    Of other interest is the fact that she lives VERY close (about an hour, according to Google) from the Creation Museum. Coincidence?

  10. Our Tomato Addict proposes a moniker:

    Starving Cdesinutritionist

    Good–but ‘starving’ overstates it. How about Impecunious Cdesinutritionist?

    Also, I think this is a true gem from the bankruptcy article, and concerns projected earnings from her car dealing husband, who

    expects his income to be lower this year because the dealership no longer sells Cadillac and Pontiac and because the government’s Cash for Clunkers program has expired

    I maybe speculating wildly and unfairly, but does anyone else suspect that her ideological approach to school district financing may be something at odds with her family’s embracing income from the ‘Cash for Clunkers program’?

    Or am just hanging out in too much curmudgeonly company these days?

  11. Why do u commie libs want to brainwash our kids with only one kind of Math? Why not let the kids have the freedom to consider alternative answers? You can teach them that some people believe that 2+2=4 but that other may have an equally opinion that 2+2=5. Lets use up valuable math class time teaching them all the possible opinions and then just let the kids decide for themselves what kind of answers they want to give on the tests.

  12. A few more ‘money shot’ quotes from the redoubtable Kelly Kohls. Source is The Middletown Journal (1 Aug 2011): A push for creationism gains in Springboro:

    Kelly Kohls, who was elected in Springboro on a platform of fiscal responsibility two years ago, requested last week the district’s curriculum director look into ways of providing “supplemental” instruction dealing with creationism.

    …[snip]…

    “Creationism is a significant part of the history of this country,” Kohls said. “It is an absolutely valid theory and to omit it means we are omitting part of the history of this country.”

    …[snip]…

    Kohls is the head of the Warren County Tea Party. Although she said her desire to teach creationism is not directly related to the emerging political movement, it’s not inconsistent with Tea Party ideals.

    “My input on creationism has everything with me being a parent and not a member of the Tea Party,” she said. “We are motivated people who want to change the course of this country. Eliminating God from our public lives I think is a mistake and is why we have gone in the direction of spending beyond our means.”

  13. Oh yeah, and as for the dreadful consequence of ‘eliminating God from our public lives’ –to wit, “spending beyond our means” — how many bankrupts do you know who can afford to keep horses?

  14. Great quotes, Megalonyx! We no longer write about the creationist dentist in Texas, because he lost his last election, but now we have his intellectual equal — the creationist nutritionist from Ohio. The blogging gods have been kind to us.

  15. Timothy Hites writes: “Why do u commie libs want to brainwash our kids with only one kind of Math? …”

    Oh that’s a good one! We should support the teaching of alternative mathematics in our schools! 😉

    This revolutionary proof may be relevant, as it replicates the method of proof used by many Creationists.

  16. Christians commonly think they are at the center of the universe and that all was created for them. I found this video interesting.
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

  17. What I find odd is that she will bring it up and then table it each time. Why jerk people around? Vote it up or down and be done with it. Judging by the people in attendance it would not unpopular and she might lose her seat on the board. Bringing it up at every meeting is this some cry for attention? My impression of the tea party is that it is not full of fiscally responsible deficit hawks, rather it is rife with the most extreme form of socially conservatives.

  18. About “alternative math” – rather, why not mention something that the community would actually care about?

    I suggest alternative sports. Why do they insist that the team with the biggest score is the winner? That is just an arbitrary rule. And contrary to the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

    Let the kids hear about CalvinBall and let them decide.

  19. I’ve already posted about alternative math: Two Plus Two Equals Three.

  20. @troy

    agreed about the tea party. if it was all fiscal responsibility and limited government i would be a lot more sympathetic to them..unfortunately the only tea party folks i know are fundies and bigots. i know you can’t say that makes them representative of the whole but my exposure bias is pretty negative.

  21. when are these people (school boards) going to get it through their heads that the only controversy here is political and religious not scientific and that the legal precedent is very much against successfully enacting a policy on teaching creationism.

  22. From the quote found by Megalonyx: “Kelly Kohls, who was elected in Springboro on a platform of fiscal responsibility two years ago, requested last week the district’s curriculum director look into ways of providing “supplemental” instruction dealing with creationism.”

    I hope the curriculum director then brought to Kohls’ attention the mess that the Dover school board got themselves in.

    It seems odd that she would ask this directly of the curriculum director rather than going through the school superintendent, but then, maybe the board hasn’t found a replacement for the departed superintendent yet. She seems to be a one-woman wrecking crew. From the clips she sounds like a Michele Bachmann clone.

  23. You can’t fully appreciate it until you’ve been to a board meeting. I know I didn’t. Good comparison to Michele B. Even better – Dolores Umbridge. It really feels surreal when you hear it live…