FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2014
LITTLE ROCK –The ACLU of Arkansas has asked the North Little Rock School District (“NLRSD”) to halt the teaching of creationism in its schools and to take steps to ensure it does not reoccur. On behalf of concerned parents of students in the District, the ACLU addressed a NLRSD middle school teacher’s introduction of a three-day lesson on creationism that injects doubt about evolution into teaching about World History and Social Studies. The federal courts have recognized that public-school instruction in creationism or other religious beliefs about the origin of life – whether presented alone or in conjunction with instruction about evolution – has no secular purpose and plainly violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Creationism and creation-science are sometimes labeled or taught as “intelligent design” which is a re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory, as held a 2005 federal court decision in Pennsylvania striking down public school board policy promoting the teaching of intelligent design. (Kitzmiller v. Dover, 400 F. Supp.2d 707, 726 (M.D. Pa. 2005)).
Rita Sklar, Executive Director, ACLU of Arkansas, said, “A public school teaching religion is a violation of parents’ fundamental rights to decide and control the religious upbringing of their children. It also hinders the scientific education of our students, which we should be doing everything to foster and improve.”
The letter from the ACLU can be found at http://www.acluarkansas.org/contentitemdocuments/269.pdf
The Power Point presentation used by the teacher can be found here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-NEiXUyP5AecXpuT1JGYk5VZW8/edit