Florida teacher reprimanded for teaching evolution?

April 18th, 2014 by Brandon Haught

Richard Dawkins recently visited Iowa and this story relates why he was there and what he said. One thing stood out to me, this quote:

“Calling it a scandal, he noted a Florida biology teacher was reprimanded by her superior for teaching evolution, after a parent complained.”

Can anyone help me with that. When and where did this reprimand happen?

This & That 4/16/14

April 16th, 2014 by Brandon Haught

– There will be a free screening of the documentary The Revisionaries on Tuesday, April 29th, 6 p.m., at the Peace Education and Action Center at 525 Kumquat Ct. Sarasota, FL 34236. Sponsored by: Americans United for Separation of Church & State, The Peace Education & Action Center, ACLU, the Center for Religious Tolerance, and the Humanists of Sarasota Bay.

– The Tallahassee Democrat published an op-ed I submitted about science education in voucher-accepting private schools: Science has a spot in voucher debates. I especially like the political cartoon that ran with it.

– I have now confirmed that I will be on the Marc Bernier radio show (WNDB, Daytona Beach) on April 29 at 5 p.m. When the time comes, you can listen live online at the show’s website.

– Duval schools seek more science, math teachers: “A new program in which Duval Schools and the University of North Florida attract and train new science and math teachers has too few takers, so officials are extending its deadline.”

“We want to get math and science teachers that stay in the classroom and become highly effective and don’t leave after one or two years.”

Merritt Island students work with NASA mentors to build tiny satellite:

“It means so much, it’s going to be so amazing,” said Briana Luthman, 17, looking forward to seeing the satellite she helped design and build launch in the Mojave Desert. “I can’t wait.”

STEM Superheroes Kickstart Next Phase of Work:

DuPont says inspiration hit them like Shazam’s lightning bolt while they waited in line one day at Disney World.

“One of us said “superheroes” and I think both of us started staring at the sky, and we’re in line and it’s really hot out and we’re like, ‘Wow, that’s a really good idea,’” DuPont says.  “Because superheroes are pinnacles of the society, they’re good citizens, they’re always trying to do the right thing, they use science and math all the time because they’re either super-powered so there’s something scientifically strange about them or sometimes you have superheroes that are just really good with technology, like Batman.”

“Your Inner Fish” Part 2

April 15th, 2014 by Jonathan Smith

Part two of Neil Shubin’s three part series, Your Inner Fish,will air on Wednesday April 16th at 10:pm (EST) on your local Florida PBS station. This weeks program is titled “Your Inner Reptile” and traces back our human traits such as skin,hair and teeth which evolved from early reptiles. Shubin has a natural wit and talent,turning this series into both an epic saga and a modern-day detective story.

Film Screening & Book Talk

April 14th, 2014 by Brandon Haught

You are invited to the advanced screening of the documentary Filthy Dreamers and a short talk by local author Brandon Haught on Saturday April 26. There will also be a question and answer session and a book signing. This is free and open to the public.


Filthy Dreamers is a film about the passionate controversy that flared in the late 1920s about the teaching of evolution to women students at Florida State Women’s College. Nearly 100 years later, public figures and activists are still trying to control curriculum in the state’s public schools, colleges and universitites. This film’s goal is to educate and inform viewers about the long history of attempted censorship on school campuses statewide. The 30-minute documentary was produced by the combined efforts of the University of Central Florida School of Visual Arts and Design, UCF Department of History, UCF College of Arts and Humanities, and Burnett Honor College.

Brandon Haught is the author of Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom. Classroom lessons and textbook passages about evolution have launched several crusades against this “Un-American, Athesistic, Subversive and Communistic” subject for decades in the Sunshine State. Brandon’s book tells the engrossing stories about the passionate citizens and public figures who have been caught up in this long-running battle that started in the 1920s and rages with undimished strength today. Brandon was interviewed for Filthy Dreamers and will give a short talk expanding on the film’s theme after the screening.

UCF Center for Emerging Media
500 West Livingston Street, Orlando, FL 32801

Saturday April 26 at noon.

Light refreshements will be provided.

SPECIAL NOTE: You will need to print and bring with you the flyer available below. The flyer has a parking pass on it that you will need when you get to the venue. Place the parking pass in a clearly visible spot in your windshield.


Finally in the conversation

April 9th, 2014 by Brandon Haught

The Tampa Bay Times has an editorial in today’s paper: Florida doesn’t need more vouchers. Among the many reasons cited against vouchers is this one.

Nor are voucher schools required to meet the same curriculum standards as public schools. Private schools don’t need to offer a breadth of courses and can forgo teaching some subjects, such as evolution, for example, even though evolution is a part of the state’s academic standards.

We don’t take a stance one way or the other on vouchers overall, but we are very happy that all of our hard work highlighting this important aspect of the debate is finally paying off. Nearly everyone has shrugged off this point about what’s being taught in private school science classes. Finally, it’s entering the conversation.

But we certainly can’t stop now! Keep on pushing, everyone.

Your Inner Fish

April 7th, 2014 by Jonathan Smith

A new three part series is due to start this coming Wednesday April 9th at 10:pm (EST) on your local Florida PBS station. Neil Shubin will host the series Inner Fish , a TV adaptation,based on Neils best selling book. It took more than 350 million years for the human body to take shape. Inner fish explains how it become the complicated, quirky, amazing machine it is today?  I have had the privilege to meet Neil on several occassions, he is a great guy and I would highly recomend this program.


Ecology Florida editorial

April 7th, 2014 by Brandon Haught

The publication Ecology Florida ran an editorial this weekend concerning my recent op-ed about science education in voucher-accepting private schools. They fully agree with the points I made and even take it a step further. Do the Math (but not the Science)! — Promote Florida Science Education.

School Vouchers.

April 6th, 2014 by Jonathan Smith

My letter to the Lakeland Ledger was featured today, stating that we, at the FCS would like to see accountability for the millions in tax payers dollars which are being given to schools which only teach psudo science and superstition in thier science class rooms.