In an appeal to the Selman vs. Cobb County School District case, which originated in 2002 after a Georgia school district placed on science textbooks disclaimer stickers that called evolution a "theory, not a fact," the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the District Court for further proceedings. The three-judge panel decided there was not enough evidence to decide the case. This means the lower court can now start a new trial or flesh out the evidence in a series of questions posed by the appeals court.

In January 2005, the federal district court ruled in favor of the parents who sued to have the stickers removed. AIBS was among 56 scientific organizations to submit an amicus curiae brief--or a "friend of the court" document--to the Appeals Court in defense of US District Judge Clarence Cooper's decision to disallow the evolution disclaimers on the grounds that they violated the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Cooper wrote that any "reasonable observer" would understand the school board to be endorsing creationism in the schools.

According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution editorial, "Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be much interest within the current [school] board in reviving the stickers in Cobb while the case goes back before a trial court. Nor has any of the 10 or so candidates for the two school board seats up for election this year indicated that would be a good idea."

 


back to Public Policy Reports

Bookmark and Share