Our clandestine operative in Kentucky — whom we’ll call “Bluegrass” — has been keeping us informed of editorials and columns in the newspaper of Grant County, where ol’ Hambo’s “replica” of Noah’s Ark is being constructed.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have also been following events, and they are becoming concerned. They’ve just posted Extending summer vacation for the sake of creationism?, which says, with some bold font added by us:
Will Kentucky extend the duration of summer vacation in order to enable students to attend a creationist attraction? Two state senators plan to file a bill that would “prevent schools from starting earlier than the first Monday closest to Aug. 26,” according to the Grant County News (August 12, 2015), in the hope of boosting tourist spending. Damon Thayer (R-District 17), the prospective sponsor of the bill along with Chris Girdler (R-District 15), told the newspaper, “Grant County is set to become a major tourist destination due to the presence of the Ark.”
Thayer was referring to Ark Encounter, a Noah’s-ark-themed attraction under construction by the young-earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis, which also operates a “museum” in Kentucky.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They want to delay the start of school so the kiddies can spend their time visiting Hambo’s creationist wonderland? Here’s that newspaper article: Thayer: Schools need later start date. It says:
As students head back to class this week, a local legislator hopes to extend the summer in the future. Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, and Sen. Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, have announced plans to file Senate Bill 129 for the 2016 legislative session. SB 129 is a measure that would prevent schools from starting earlier than the first Monday closest to Aug. 26, granting local control to school boards should they choose to start classes before Labor Day.
“Grant County is set to become a major tourist destination due to the presence of the Ark,” Thayer said. “But there won’t be many families from Kentucky visiting in August if we continue with the current calendar.” Thayer and Girdler also believe the bill will aid agriculture in Kentucky as well by allowing children who would be in school to help on family farms during the thick of harvest season. Additionally, the legislators said prolonging the start of classes will improve energy efficiency at schools.
Worthy goals indeed! The only thing missing is giving the kiddies class credit for the time they spend at the Ark. We can’t find a copy of their proposed bill among those that have been pre-filed. For 2015, the Kentucky legislature convened on 06 January and adjourned on 25 March, so there’s plenty of time before next year’s session begins.
Who are those legislators? Here are their pages at the website of the Kentucky legislature: Senator Damon Thayer (R). He’s the president of something called Thayer Communications & Consulting. And this is the page of Senator Chris Girdler (R). His occupation is cryptically described as “Real Estate Services.”
Okay, back to NCSE. They say:
Educators in Kentucky have reportedly been cool to the idea of the state requiring local schools to start later in the year, citing both the ideal of local control of education and the danger of impairing student learning.
Bah, humbug! Thayer and Girdler don’t care about education. They want to encourage visitors to Hambo’s Ark. After all, that’s important! Anyway, we have the promise of an interesting issue to follow in the months to come. We’ll keep you advised.
Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.