Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, I'll Be A Monkey's Uncle. Wait, No I Won't

Some people just don't have enough to do. Apparently these people run for positions on school boards.

A majority of Polk County School Board members say they support teaching intelligent design in addition to evolution in public schools. They also support bleeding to cure disease, wearing blue beads to defend against the evil eye, and talking to flowers.

Apparently they don't have a PBS station in Polk County.

Board members Tim Harris, Margaret Lofton and Hazel Sellers said they oppose proposed science standards for Florida schools that lists evolution and biological diversity as one of the "big ideas" that students need to know for a well-grounded science education. "Give the young'uns too much a that book learnin' and they get all uppity," said Harris.

"Sides, ain't no Yankee activist judge gonna tell me what to teach my kids," added Lofton.

Board member Kay Fields said last week she wants intelligent design, which is promoted by some Christian groups, taught in science classes in addition to evolution. "I want to make very clear that just because christian groups want ID taught doesn't mean it's disguised religion," she told reporters. It's also just coincidence that the required text is the bible."

The board's majority opinion is at odds with Florida's scientific community, as well as people not on psychotropic drugs who strongly support the new, more rigorous science standards, and say intelligent design lacks scientific credibility. "What's so important about 'scientific credibility?'" asked Sellers. "We got too much credibility in schools today. We got a credibility problem. I say we need more blind faith. God, I loved that band."

Eds note: Must...resist...left...turn...

"If it ever comes to the board for a vote, I will vote against the teaching of evolution as part of the science curriculum," Lofton said. "I will also vote against the passage of time, clothing stores without a plus size department and cockroaches."

Despite the Dover case, some school board members want both intelligent design and evolution taught in Polk schools. They say they have received numerous e-mails and phone calls in support of intelligent design. "Well, I think they were in support. It was hard to tell sometimes with all the spelling and grammar mistakes," Fields said.

It's unclear how the opposition by the School Board will pan out if the new standards are adopted by the state. "Independent Republic of Polkistan, that's all I'm saying," Sellers told reporters.

Board members Frank O'Reilly and Brenda Reddout said they were unwilling to endorse intelligent design over evolution. "Using the high school pool for baptisms is also problematic for me," O'Reilly said.

"I agree, and I think we should stick to Spanish and French in our language classes and not add Speaking in Tongues as well," Reddout added.

Board member Lori Cunningham said she hasn't made up her mind. "Nobody told me I'd have to make decisions when I ran for this job," she said. "I just wanted to get back at Mr. Jessup who flunked me in ninth grade algebra. I'm coming for you jerky Jessup."

The School Board could discuss the issue at its regular meeting. "Well, if I don't get possessed by the holy spirit," Fields said. "That tends to happen a lot when we start talking about something I don't like."

"Yeah. She goes all spazzy and starts flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water," Reddout added. "Fun to watch, but we don't get much done."

"My tendency would be to have both sides shared with students since neither side can be proven," Tim Harris said. When it was pointed out to Harris that the Theory of Gravity also can't be "proven" he responded, "You mean I could fly if I just believe?"

"I don't have a conflict with intelligent design versus evolution," Sellers said. "The two go together. Hey, anybody want to share my sardine and peanut butter sandwich? It's got ketchup on it."

If the standards are adopted, local school boards in opposition will have the option of going to court, School Board Attorney Wes Bridges said.

"If the board has difficulty with the result, we will have to assess what their options may be," Bridges said. "From time to time, they are asked to do things that they don't want to do."

"Yeah. Like live in the real world," O'Reilly said.

"I heard that, heathen," Fields said. "I think I feel an attack of the holy spirit coming on."

"Well, just don't pee yourself this time," Reddout said.

In a related story, the number of parents homeschooling their children have more than doubled in Polk county since the election.

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