After all the hoopla over 'academic freedom' laws, conspiracy theories, and the Discovery Institute being the Discovery Institute (which is not a good thing) , this little item might get missed in the background. I, for one find it promising. "Libertyville High School science teacher cited creationism, officials confirm"
So here is the set-up, the older sibling of a student apparently reported that a teacher was teaching Creationism/Intelligent Design and weakening the teaching of Evolution. This was reported to school administrators. They investigated, found it to be true and took actions to stop it. Nice, simple, straight forward and exactly how things should happen. No hysterics, no talk of lawsuits, no weak-in-knees administrators trying to avoid controversy, and no public outcries from external parties.
Like I said, I find this promising. Everything that should have happened appears to have happened. Now, in my opinion, the ball is in the teacher-in-question's court. How will he handle it? If he straightens up and does the job the school system hired him for, then everything should calm down. If he tries to pull a Freshwater, then he deserves to be disciplined, possibly even fired. he has to have the ability to set his personal religious beliefs aside to be an effective science teacher -- primarily because those beliefs are not science.
Now that's the optimistic Ted. The pessimistic Ted fully expects the Discovery Institute to stick it's nose in. I can already hear some of their whines:
- Oh the complainer is an activist
- Oh the school administrators shouldn't fault him for teaching ID
- Why not teach the controversy
- What about free speech
- What about academic freedom
- It doesn't matter who made the complaint, the school administrators investigated and took action.
- ID is not science, so it shouldn't be taught as if it were
- There is no scientific controversy, only a contrived political one
- This isn't a free speech issue, saying ID is science is a lie, free speech doesn't protect lies, does it? Even if it did, does a teacher really have free speech in the classroom? Nope!
- And you already know my feelings on academic freedom, a topic that is not part of the discipline being taught is not protected by academic freedom.
I truly hope the teacher does was Freshwater and the former school board members of Dover PA couldn't find the intestinal fortitude to do, and that was accept the responsibility for their actions, recognize how damaging their actions were, and repair the damage. That's how an adult is suppose to act and think about what a lesson his students can learn from it. I guess that optimist peeked out again. Let's all keep an eye on it as well.