Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Harm, the Confusion, the Hard Choices

One report on the testimony of the named plaintiff:
Tammy Kitzmiller, one of the parents who sued the school district, also took the stand Tuesday and said that the district's intelligent design policy has absolutely harmed her family.

Lawyers for the parents argue that the reading of a four-paragraph intelligent design statement before they hear lessons on evolution amounts to a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

The Washington Post elaborates:
In other testimony Tuesday, plaintiff Tammy Kitzmiller said that in January, her younger daughter chose not to hear the intelligent-design statement - an option given all students - putting her in an awkward position.

"My 14-year-old daughter had to make the choice between staying in the classroom and being confused ... or she had to be singled out and face the possible ridicule of her friends and classmates," she said.

The entire one minute statement that is responsible for the harm, ridicule, singling out, hard choices, confusion and Constitutional rights violations is this:
"The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's theory of evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

"Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

"Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, "Of Pandas and People," is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.

"With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments."


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