Board Challenged on Teacher Reprimand

On August 13, 2001 the Lafayette School Corporation board was asked by a Jefferson High School chemistry teacher to remove a formal reprimand placed in his personnel file by the district's superintendent last September. The reprimand accused the teacher "of teaching religion through creationism in a classroom setting" according to a Lafayette Journal and Courier account. Supporters of the teacher who spoke at the meeting reportedly claimed that other science teachers at the high school "blatantly use religious references in their classrooms and teach evolution as fact." An attorney representing the teacher stated that "he is giving the board until 5 p.m. (August 14) to retract the reprimand or he may take further legal action based on viewpoint discrimination." Board members did not deal with the teacher's request at the meeting, after being advised by the district's attorney that it would be "out of order" for them to do so at this time. On August 16 the Lafayette Journal and Courier reported that the teacher had resigned and taken a position at another Indiana school district.