A court battle on the horizon in Ohio?


"Count on a serious court battle if a few state legislators have their way and Intelligent Design and other religious interpretations of science are allowed to be taught in public schools," warns the Cleveland Plain Dealer (August 22, 2014). 

The topic is Ohio's House Bill 597, which if enacted would require the state's science standards to "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." Sara Clark and Hollie Reedy, lawyers for the Ohio School Boards Association, told the Plain Dealer that the language of the requirement was ambiguous.

But a sponsor of the bill, Andy Thompson (R-District 95), is on record as stating that the provision would allow local school districts to teach "intelligent design" along with creationism, telling the Plain Dealer (August 19, 2014), "I don't know that it needs to be treated on par, but districts will be able to choose based on their judgment."

If the requirement is thus understood, Reedy told the Plain Dealer, "Absolutely it's going to be challenged." And she predicted that the challenge will succeed, citing the decision in 2005's Kitzmiller v. Dover case. "That case has been cited as the leading case on this, including by the Ohio Supreme Court," Reedy said.

Concerned Ohioans are urged to register at NCSE's website to indicate their opposition to the antiscience provision of HB 597, to get help reaching out to their state representatives, and to receive action alerts for attacks on science education in Ohio.