Last year we reported Florida School Board Harassment Bill Is Now Law, and said:
The bill allows either parents of students in the local schools, or residents of the county where the school board functions, to complain to the school board about instructional materials or books in the library, and the board has to conduct a hearing on the complaints. In other words, any creationist drooler can harass his local school board merely for having a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species in the library. However, after giving the drooler a hearing, the decision of the school board is final.
Today in the Naples Daily News, the primary newspaper of Naples, Florida and all of Collier County, we discovered this happy headline: Evolution, climate change skeptics lose battle over science textbooks, and they have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Collier County School Board members voted Monday to adopt a new batch of science textbooks, more than a dozen of which were the subject of official objections from Naples residents who cited issues ranging from unbalanced views of evolution and climate change to inaccurate racial depictions of science experts. Erika Donalds and Kelly Lichter [droolers] voted against adopting the disputed textbooks while board chair Roy Terry and members Stephanie Lucarelli and Erick Carter voted in favor.
The Collier County school board is divided 3 to 2. Their meetings must be fun! The newspaper says:
Since the slate of instructional materials was unanimously approved for adoption at the May 8 board meeting, four people submitted 220 objections to content within 18 textbooks. The overall theme of the objections was a lack of balance and context when referencing evolution and climate change and the treating of those topics as fact rather than theory.
Four people! We’re not told until later if they have kids in the school system. Spoiler alert — three of them don’t. The law requires only that that they be residents of the county, so any drooler can object to textbooks. The newspaper then quotes from the one objector who is a parent:
Evolution and natural selection are “a total indoctrination of liberal ideas,” wrote Collier parent Melissa Pind in her complaint. “Very disgusting and disappointing that this is included and no other viewpoint is even mentioned! What a shame that kids’ minds aren’t opened up to other possibilities.”
Disgusting indeed! The newspaper continues:
Keith Flaugh, co-director of the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, a conservative group that’s suing the school district over social studies textbooks adopted last year, wrote in his objection that there are “many very credible scientists” who have proven [Hee hee!] the impossibility of evolution.
Yeah, they’re credible. Let’s read on:
Michael Mogil, a meteorologist, objected to images of polar bears [What?], which he wrote were “the ‘poster child’ of human-caused climate change proponents.” Repeated references to climate change, he said, “brainwashes” students. Several of Mogil’s complaints were aimed at images of science experts within the textbooks, which he said inaccurately represented the racial makeup of society’s expertise in science. “Why would I wind up with four black males and no white males,” he asked board members Monday. “It just doesn’t look right.”
No comment. Here’s another excerpt:
Naples resident Joseph Doyle took aim at passages that addressed overpopulation, which he said is “an exaggerated, unproven concern.” “This is a slippery slope implying the need to kill humans — i.e. abortion, euthanasia,” he wrote.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:
Brandon Haught, a high school biology and environmental science teacher in Orange City, . and founding member of Florida Citizens for Science, a group focused on defending against attacks on science education, advised the board to be weary of the hundreds of objections filed. … The objectors’ strategy, he said, “is to overwhelm you by so many facts that it makes you think, ‘Oh, maybe there’s something to it. If you actually take a look at each individual fact you’ll find that they’re hollow,” he said. “They’re based on misinterpretations and wishful thinking and religion.”
Several people, including Haught and some board members, noted the unconstitutionality of teaching religion in public schools. Board member Erika Donalds [one of the board’s droolers] disagreed, arguing creationism has a place in science classrooms. “The theory of intelligent design and the theory of evolution can be taught alongside each other without violating the constitution,” she said.
Erika never heard of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Here’s one last excerpt:
The meeting lasted five hours, the vast majority of which was spent hearing from objectors Mogil, Flaugh and Doyle, none of whom have children attending Collier public schools.
Five hours? Try to imagine the mindless horror of that event! Anyway, the good guys won and the droolers went home defeated. A happy result indeed.
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