Friday, February 17, 2006
UNC: Religion and the Public Schools Symposium
The keynote speaker will be William Van Alstyne, Lee professor of law at the College of William & Mary and a nationally regarded expert on constitutional law.
Designed for attorneys, educators and the public alike, the symposium will feature panel discussions centering on three of the most pressing issues related to religion in public schools today.
Speakers will discuss constitutional questions associated with the following topics:
- The teaching of intelligent design in public school classrooms;
- The words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and government-sponsored religious exercises in public schools; and
- The possible reintroduction of religious symbols in classrooms in light of a reconstituted Supreme Court.
Members of the legal, religious and education communities will give remarks regarding these issues. Dr. Michael Newdow, plaintiff and attorney in the cases challenging inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, will be a panelist. Two prominent scientists also will discuss the validity of the theories of intelligent design and evolution.
Other panelists include:
- Anthony R. Picarello Jr., president and general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. In November 2005, the Becket Fund filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking to reverse the U.S. District Court’s injunction prohibiting recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in California public schools.
- Dr. Scott Minnich, associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho. Minnich recently testified as an expert witness in support of the teaching of intelligent design in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The case resulted in a federal court holding the teaching of intelligent design in Pennsylvania public schools to violate the First Amendment.
- Richard B. Katskee, assistant legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Katskee represented plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
Get more information here.