On 19 December 2006, a settlement was announced in Selman v. Cobb County, Georgia, that was lauded by both science education and civil liberties groups and eliminated the need for a retrial. In the agreement, the Cobb County Board of Education and School District agreed not to restore the warning sticker (in any form) that described evolution as "a theory, not a fact" to science textbooks. Additionally, the Board and District were enjoined to not take any number of actions that "would prevent or hinder the teaching of evolution" and must reimburse $166,659 of the plaintiffs' legal fees. This settlement follows the 25 May 2006 Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that sent the case back to the District Court over concerns about evidence. The Cobb County Board of Education had appealed a 13 January 2005 federal court ruling where the textbook warning stickers were considered a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and were immediately ordered to be removed. The initial trial of Selman v. Cobb County took place in late 2004 after eleven parents filed suit against the Cobb County Board who, under pressure from local creationists, originally adopted the stickers in 2002.

This settlement has been hailed by the science education community as a real victory for Cobb County students who now "will be free to learn about evolution — the central principle of the biological sciences — without the distortions of a narrow religious agenda," according to Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education.

 


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