American Civil Liberties Union
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 14, 2006
CONTACT: American Civil Liberties Union
ACLU of Ohio Demands Schools Stop Teaching Intelligent Design as Science
TOLEDO, Ohio - February 14 - The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
today sent a letter to the Toledo Public Schools demanding that they cease
allowing staff to teach intelligent design in science classrooms throughout the
"Intelligent design has been proven to be nothing more
than a thin cover for those who wish to teach creationism, a faith-based idea of
human origins endorsed by certain Christian denominations, in science classes,"
said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeffrey Gamso. "While people have a right to
teach their religious beliefs to others in churches, mosques, synagogues and
private schools, public schools should not be used by people to teach their
personal religious beliefs to other people's children."
added, "Proponents of intelligent design have been unable to provide any
credible scientific evidence to support their theories. The scientific community
has, time and again, largely refuted purported evidence supporting intelligent
design. By continuing to allow teachers to implement intelligent design into the
science curriculum, educators are misinforming Ohio's children on the
fundamental principles of science."
Recently, a news article in the
Toledo Blade featured teachers in the Toledo Public School system who admitted
teaching intelligent design in science classrooms. In the article, teachers
acknowledged they taught lessons on various pieces of evidence that seemed to
refute evolutionary theory, despite the fact that all were proven to be hoaxes
by the scientific community.
The battle over intelligent design in
Ohio schools began in 2002 when the State Board of Education endorsed teaching "critical analysis of evolution," which is no more than a way of slipping
intelligent design, and therefore creationism, into the public schools through
the back door, according to the ACLU.
Following a court ruling in
Dover, Pennsylvania in late 2005 that the local school board's decision to teach
intelligent design was unconstitutional, many in Ohio called for the State Board
of Education to reexamine its science standards.
"As Ohio students
compete with people from other states and nations for jobs in science and
technology, allowing the teaching of intelligent design as a science standard
will diminish their ability to compete in the economy," Gamso
For more information on intelligent design, go to www.aclu.org/evolution