Parents rebel, school apologizes for teaching kids that evolution-doubters are trying to trick them

parent0929A social media campaign by Florida parents has forced a middle school to apologize after science teachers teaching evolution accused anyone who disagreed with them of lying.

According to News 6 in Orlando, parents got alarmed when students from Heritage Middle School in Volusia County brought home a class paper about the scientific process and the difference between a theory and a scientific law.

One part of the lesson, titled “Not Just a Theory,” was aimed squarely at figures children are generally taught to trust:

“Next time someone tells you evolution is just a theory, as a way of dismissing it, as if it’s just something someone guessed at, remember that they’re using the non-scientific meaning of the word. If that person is a teacher, a minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better. In fact, they probably do and they are trying to mislead you.”

That didn’t go over well at home at all.

“The hair on the back of my neck went up,” parent Lisa McNeil told News 6.

Considering that “some other figure of authority” definitely includes parents, it’s easy to see why.

“It’s not so much the evolution aspect of it, it’s just the way they phrased those few sentences how they were kind of taking the rights away from the parents,” another parent, Jennifer Flinchum, explained to the station.

After word spread about the assignment on social media, the school recovered its senses.

Recently in 8th grade science assignment titled “Not just a theory,” was distributed in an attempt to address current science standards for differentiating scientific theory and scientific law. The reading does meet this criterion up until the last two sentences that state, “If that person is a teacher, or minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better… In fact, they probably do, and are trying to mislead you.” Upon this coming to our knowledge, the lesson had been retracted. In fact, please know that we apologize for this resource being used and take comfort knowing that it will not be used again. At no time, is it our place to interfere with authorities of household beliefs …

According to News 6, the offensive wording was solely the work of three science teachers at the school, but that might not be much consolation to the parents involved.

“It does make me question what else they’re going to put in front of him for the rest of the year,” McNeil told the station.

Now, why would she feel like that?

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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