ADL Welcomes Judge's Ruling in Cobb County Evolution Sticker Case
Update: The parties in this case reached a settlement on December 19, 2006. More
Atlanta, January 13, 2005 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the decision today by U.S. District Court Judge Clarence Cooper in which he ruled that Cobb County could not place stickers that undermine the teaching of evolution in biology textbooks.
Deborah Lauter, ADL Southeast Regional Director, congratulated the ACLU and the six plaintiff parents in the case who challenged the Cobb County School Board's March 2002 action placing a sticker in high school biology textbooks which reads: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
Ms. Lauter commented:
"Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that any attempt to ban evolution or to include creationism in a school science curriculum is unconstitutional, creationists have developed new tactics to promote their goal of undermining the way biology is taught in the public schools. We are glad that Judge Cooper recognized that the Cobb County disclaimer sticker, although couched in the language of scientific skepticism, is plainly designed to encourage students to doubt the evidence underlying the process of evolution.
While the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to believe the religious theories of creation, it does not permit religious theories to be taught in public school science classes. This distinction makes sense, and is ultimately good for religion because it leaves religious instruction to properly trained clergy and to parents, it keeps government out of religious controversies, and it ensures that public school classrooms remain hospitable to an ethnically diverse, religiously pluralistic country. "
In 2003, the ADL Southeast Region presented its "Unsung Hero Award" to one of the plaintiffs, Jeffrey Selman, for leading the fight on this important issue.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.