IFAS | Freedom Writer | August/September 1993 | vista.html

Vista gives OK to creation 'science'

Last year, when fundamentalist Christians took control of the Vista, California school board (see Freedom Writer, November/December 1992), they promised to make sweeping changes in the school district. These changes included: reduced access to libr ary books; a restructuring of sex education to exclude information about how AIDS is spread through homosexual sex, and to reduce opportunities to learn about contraception; and teaching that creationism has as much scientific merit as evolution.

On August 12, by a 3-2 vote, the Vista school board made good on part of their promise. The board ordered that "discussions of divine creation, ultimate purposes, or ultimate causes (the 'why') shall be included at appropriate times in the history-social sciences and/or English language arts curricula." The new policy mandates "exploration and dialogue" of "scientific evidence that challenges any theory in science," and states "no student shall be compelled to believe or accept any theory presented in the curriculum."

Deidre Holliday, the board president who heads the fundamentalist majority, said her constituency pushed for the new policies. "People kept asking: "Why can't we have creationism? Why is evolution being taught as fact?' Those questions kept coming up, so we decided to do something. We now have creationism on an equal footing with evolution."

Tom Conry, the teachers' union president, said that his constituents won't tolerate attacks on evolution or any attempt by the board to repackage creationism as scientific theory for introduction into science curriculum, or the lesson plans for any other classes.

Sources: San Diego Times, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Mainstream Voter's Project.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.