Uncertainty about the Beebe disclaimer
On February 10, 2005, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that the Beebe School District in Beebe, Arkansas, agreed to remove warning labels from its science textbooks which describe evolution as "a controversial theory" and refer to an "intelligent designer" as a possible explanation of the origin of life. But now, according to a story in The Leader, the Beebe school board has decided not to do so: instead, the board will wait for the outcome of Selman v. Cobb County, a federal case challenging the constitutionality of a similar disclaimer in use in Cobb County, Georgia. Although the Cobb County warning label was ruled unconstitutional, the school board there decided to appeal. The Beebe school board is also reportedly seeking the aid of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal organization founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. A staff attorney at the ACLU of Arkansas commented, "The ACLU of Arkansas will be surprised and disappointed if the Beebe School Board does not fulfill the terms of the agreement by its attorney, Paul Blume, who has advised us twice privately and once through the media that the School Board intends to remove the stickers at the end of the school year. Mr. Blume has promised to send us a letter confirming that this will be done. Obviously, we will have no choice but to engage in extremely expensive litigation if the School Board does not follow through with its original agreement."