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Science Supervisor Chris Comer Sues Texas Education Agency
Chris Comer, the Director of Science at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) who was forced to resign over a dispute involving intelligent design, has filed suit in Federal District Court for redress. Comer seeks:
Comer's offense was that she forwarded an email from NCSE's Glenn Branch announcing a talk by NCSE board member Dr. Barbara Forrest, co-author of Creationism's Trojan Horse, a critique of intelligent design creationism (see previous coverage here and here). Administrators reprimanded her for having informed her colleagues about the upcoming talk because it implied "that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a topic on which the agency must remain neutral."
Comer's suit takes to task the TEA's policy of "neutrality" regarding creationism, a religious view. "... the Agency's firing of its Director of Science for not remaining 'neutral' on the subject violates the Establishment Clause, because it employs the symbolic and financial support of the State of Texas to achieve a religious purpose, and so has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion. By professing 'neutrality,' the Agency credits creationism as a valid scientific theory. Finally, the Agency fired Director Comer without according her due process as required by the 14th Amendment -- a protection especially important here because Director Comer was fired for contravening an unconstitutional policy."
NCSE will keep you informed.