A school board meeting was held yesterday in Polk County. It was one of those long affairs as it was the annual organization meeting where officers are voted on and such. Science never came up.
Then the public comment period was opened and a few people asked the board’s support for the typical local concerns. Finally, Florida Citizens for Science president Joe Wolf and board member Jonathan Smith spoke. Both filled their three minute allowances with notes of caution, using the Dover, Pa. intelligent design trial as an example of what could happen right there in Polk County. Jonathan also made the pointed remark that he hoped all the school board members had actually taken the time to view and comment on the new draft science standards on the standards website. Joe and Jonathan later noted that they got no feedback from the board, verbal or non-verbal, during their presentations.
The Lakeland Ledger reported on the meeting. After Joe and Jonathan spoke, an eighth-grade teacher assured the board that he could teach intelligent design without tripping over religion.
“When you talk about laws in nature it shows some order or design,” said Lawrence Hughes, who has taught at the academy for 16 years. “The laws of nature don’t support change from one organism to another organism.”
Four of the seven School Board members have said they support teaching intelligent design in addition to evolution in public school science classes. Board members did not respond when Smith and Joe Wolf, president of the Florida Citizens for Science, spoke about their opposition to intelligent design, but board member Margaret Lofton thanked Hughes after his talk.
“I support what you have to say,” Lofton told Hughes.
You might want to let Lofton know that her support is misplaced. Margaret Lofton, Margaret.Lofton@polk-fl.net.
Wesley Elsberry, who is from Polk County and and still has family there, has a few things to say on the matter.