Monday, December 04, 2006


Ouachita Parish: First in Freedom

Down in Louisiana, the Ouachita Parish School Board has granted high school teachers the freedom to "teach the controversy" about such controversial topics as evolution, global warming, and stem cell research.

Granting that freedom to high school teachers is something of a first. Until now, academic freedom has generally been reserved for university professors. Teachers at the secondary level are most often required to teach from a curriculum established at the state or district level -- that's why we've witnessed so many battles over curriculum standards recently.

Even so, firsts are becoming somewhat routine in the Ouachita Parish School District. As the Louisiana Family Forum website notes, the parish was also the first to implement the Bible as History and Literature course in Louisiana.

The parish school board policy, we are told, is designed to support teachers who, as one school board member so touchingly put it, are uncomfortable teaching the Darwin theory of monkey to man evolution.

We trust the new policy will apply equally to those teachers who want to inform their students about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted disease. Surely, in the Bible class teachers will have the same academic freedom to inform their students that a literal interpretation of the good book is only one of a number of possible readings.


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