ACLU, other groups threaten lawsuits
in evolution debate
By John Hanna, Associated Press,
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The American Civil
Liberties Union says school districts could face lawsuits if they attempt
to teach creationism in wake of the state school board's recent decision
to de-emphasize the teaching of evolution.
The ACLU, in a letter Friday to
school superintendents, warned the districts about adopting ''religiously-based
standards'' in teaching science.
The ACLU also noted U.S. Supreme
Court decisions that forbid the teaching of creationism, the belief that
a higher power created the universe, because of its religious foundation.
People for the American Way and
Americans United for the Separation of Church and States also said they
would consider lawsuits if religion-based standards were implemented.
The board adopted new testing standards
Wednesday that play down the scientific importance of evolution, particularly
the theory that humans descended from apes and other lower species.
Local school districts will continue
to decide what subjects are taught in their classrooms, but critics and
supporters of the new standards think they could influence some districts'
Supporters of the new standards
said the criticism was like running and yelling, ''The sky is falling.''
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