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The latest from Livingston Parish

Creationism won't be taught in the public schools of Livingston Parish, Louisiana — at least not yet. The Baton Rouge Advocate (August 1, 2010) reports that "The Livingston Parish School Board won't try to include the teaching of creationism in this year's curriculum, but has asked the School Board staff to look at the issue for possible future action." At a July meeting, inspired by the Louisiana Science Education Act, the board formed a committee to explore the possibilities of incorporating creationism in the parish's science classes. The committee is not expected to report its findings in time for the board to take any action for the 2010-2011 school year; the board's president Keith Martin explained, "We have decided not to try to hurry up and rush something in for this year."

Marjorie Esman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, told the Advocate that the decision to teach creationism would be not only doomed to failure but expensive. "If they were to do it, they could anticipate that any litigation would result in them not only losing, but having to pay enormous legal fees," she said. "They would be wasting a huge amount of taxpayer money on a battle they can't win." The board's attorney confirmed that it would be unconstitutional for the schools to teach creationism. Meanwhile, board member David Tate, who broached the possibility of teaching creationism at the previous board meeting, commented, "We don't want litigation, but why not take a stand for Jesus and risk litigation."