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TFN Calls on Texas Education Commissioner to Clarify Remarks on Forced Resignation of TEA Science Director

Supporting a Sound Science Education For Texas Kids Shouldn't Be a Litmus Test for Faith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2007

AUSTIN - The president of the Texas Freedom Network today called on Texas education commissioner Robert Scott to clarify his suggestion that the state’s recent director of science curriculum was forced to resign for “bashing people’s faith.”

“It’s bad enough if politics forced the resignation of the state’s science curriculum director,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “I hope Mr. Scott, in trying to save his agency from further embarrassment, isn’t suggesting that Ms. Comer was somehow attacking people of faith simply by supporting a 21st-century science education for Texas kids. Texans of all faiths want their children to get an education based on sound science, and teaching evolution is sound science.”

The Dallas Morning News on Sunday published answers Mr. Scott had to questions surrounding the forced resignation of Chris Comer, the Texas Education Agency’s former science curriculum director. Ms. Comer was forced out of her job after she forwarded an e-mail announcing an Austin speech by a critic of teaching “intelligent design”/creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Ms. Comer simply wrote “FYI” in the e-mail she forwarded.

Mr. Scott told the Dallas Morning News that Ms. Comer’s e-mail “may have given the impression that … we were taking a position as an agency.” When asked why the agency shouldn’t advocate the science of evolution, Mr. Scott said, “We teach evolution. It’s part of our curriculum. But you can be in favor of a science without bashing people’s faith, too. I don’t know all the facts, but I think that may be the real issue here.”

Mr. Scott’s comments are available at the Dallas Morning News Web site: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/points/stories/DN-pocscott_09edi.ART.State.Edition1.370eba7.html

TFN’s Miller pointed out that Ms. Comer’s e-mail simply alerted recipients about a speech in Austin and included no attacks on people of faith.

“Political appointees shouldn’t make support for sound science education a litmus test for people of faith,” Miller said. “That would be an unfair and cynical approach for the head of the Texas Education Agency to take, and I hope Mr. Scott will clarify what he meant.”

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.

 

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