AHA Warn TN School of Teacher Violating Church/State Separation

By Ed Brayton

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, part of the American Humanist Association, has sent a letter warning a school in Tennessee that it better stop a science teacher from teaching creationism or face a federal lawsuit. The school is Cascade Middle School of the Bedford County School District in Shelbyville, TN.

Monica Miller, AHA senior counsel, writes, “Children are urged to reject the scientifically accepted view of evolution in this class, merely because it conflicts with bible interpretation.” The teacher “recently played a video called ‘The Theory of Genesis: How Old is the World?’” in class, disputing the scientific consensus on the age of the world and instead promoting a “young earth” view. The letter also details that the teacher has played other videos with Christian overtones, mentions “the great flood” almost daily, and frequently tells the class that “God” is responsible for natural phenomena.

“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment strictly forbids public school teachers from advancing religious views and presenting Christian mythology as scientific fact in the public school classrooms,” says Miller. “The teacher here is not merely sharing his personal religious views with students during class time, which alone would be inappropriate, but is aggressively injecting those views into the actual curriculum, making this an egregious constitutional violation.”

The American Humanist Association’s letter demands that appropriate actions are taken to immediately stop Christian proselytizing and coercion at Bedford County Schools and at Cascade Middle School specifically.

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