A new member of the Pinellas County School Board, Nina Hayden, was quized by the St. Petersburg Times. One particular answer made me smile:
Question: It appears the state Board of Education may have to adopt new academic standards by the end of 2011, including a new set of science standards, even though we recently went through a science standard adoption. If Florida has another crack at this, do you think the standards should be worded to include equal time for the teaching of intelligent design alongside the teaching of evolution?
Answer: No. I’ve been very clear about that. I do not believe that the science curriculum should include intelligent design.
I heard some of the other candidates say, “You have religion courses,” but those are more on a college level.
I heard some of the candidates, even board members, say it could be an elective. I can’t give you a definite answer on whether I would support that, but I definitely would not offer it in science class.
Obviously it’s an issue of separation of church and state and bringing faith-based principles into the public school system. Our country was founded by individuals who had religious beliefs, but they also looked at when government should not support religion. Intelligent design has its place in faith-based organizations, not in our public school system. I stand pretty firm on that issue.