Complaint over possible creationism class

    6:42 PM, Feb 11, 2014   |    comments
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    Little Rock News:

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) - Two Arkansas charter schools are under fire for allegedly violating the U.S. Constitution.

    In a complaint to The Arkansas Department of Education, a watchdog group said the schools are teaching creationism instead of the scientific Theory of Evolution.

    The group claims materials being used at Premier High School in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy in Bentonville violate the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

    The complaint letter to the department of education said the materials attempt to "aggressively undermine the theory of evolution and promote creationism."

    According to Americans United, The U.S. Supreme court has ruled religion can't be presented as an alternative view of science in the classroom.

    Dr. Terry Richard, professor of sociology and anthropology at UALR said the only teaching that's scientifically backed is the Theory of Evolution.

    "Creationism is not a scientific based type of a system. It's a theory, it literally just says this is the cosmology of Christianity, this is how we believe the Earth was started. It really involves a whole system of beliefs that's based on faith."

    The Arkansas Education Department is reviewing the complaint, but can't comment further at this time.

    The letter claims that the course can't withstand constitutional scrutiny, and it asks that the courses be changed or the schools' charters revoked.

    Dr. Richard said the theory of evolution is based on science.

    "Science is science and you want to teach science and the fact that individuals say that's not really science, it's just a theory is literally ignoring the facts that exist."

    Charter Schools are independent of traditional school districts and are allowed to conduct their own curriculum, but because they receive public funding they are not allowed to go against the law.

    Richard said there is a place for creationism, it's just not in science class.

    "There is a place outside of a curriculum for individuals to strengthen their own spiritual or religious beliefs, but not in a curriculum that's geared towards understanding the world around us."

    THV 11 tried to reach Responsive Education Solutions, which runs the schools, but our calls were not returned.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that creationism is a religion, not a scientific belief, and cannot be taught in public school.

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