Tuesday, January 18, 2005


By Stockton

Ga. Schools to Appeal Evolution Ruling
Tue Jan 18, 2005

MARIETTA, Ga. - Members of a suburban district's school board plan to challenge a federal judge's order to remove stickers in science textbooks that call evolution "a theory, not a fact."

In a 5-2 vote, the Cobb County school board decided to appeal last week's ruling. Board members said U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper's order to remove the stickers immediately "amounts to unnecessary judicial intrusion into local control of schools," according to a statement.

The school district just north of Atlanta approved the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life.

During four days of testimony in federal court last November, the school system defended the warning stickers as a show of tolerance, not religious activism. Its attorneys argued the board had made a good-faith effort to address questions that inevitably arise during the teaching of evolution.

The decision to appeal surprised Jeffrey Selman, who led parents in a lawsuit to remove the stickers.

"They're ludicrous," Selman said of the school board. "They're ignoring the ruling."

The disclaimers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

But that's not all. The Georgia Courts will likely have their dockets full this year. Another group wants a similar sticker regarding gravity. "After all, it's just a theory," said Wayne Ruslander, President of the Anti-Gravity League.

Additionally, The Post-Enlightenment Club has proposed another, less controversial sticker.

"Georgia's Public Education system attempts to teach. Georgia's Public Education system is a theory, not a fact. The Georgia Public Education system should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

There has also been talk about impeachment proceedings against Judge Clarence Cooper. Impeachment of a Georgia judge is a complicated process. The judge is bound and tossed into a vat of water. If he floats, he will not be impeached. If he sinks, a court vacancy has been created.

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