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Georgia school board abandons anti-evolution textbook sticker effort

“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.”
— the text on a sticker that the Cobb County Board of Education wanted to place in all high school biology textbooks.

Another loss for the Flat Earth Fundie crowd — a settlement was announced in federal court  — the Cobb County Board of Education agreed not to sticker the books or attempt to undermine the teaching of evolution in class.

Evolution has long been controversial in Cobb County, north of Atlanta, where some biology teachers used to tear pages out of textbooks to avoid discussing it. In 2002, after more than 2,000 parents objected to sections on evolution in a new biology textbook, stickers were placed on the inside of the front cover.

Board members said they attempted to craft a sensitive response to parents’ complaints. The sticker 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.”

A group of Cobb County parents, backed by the ACLU, promptly sued the school district. In 2005, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper ruled that the stickers equaled an endorsement of “Christian fundamentalist or creationist beliefs” and therefore were unconstitutional.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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