March 12, 2016

The video above is a livestream from Thursday's meeting of the West Virginia School District Board. Most of the video contains the typically boring questions of allocating funds and modernizing schools to keep up with the times. The unusual and eye-opening part of the video begins around the 45:50 mark where a reporter asks about the teaching of both Creationism, which is absolutely unproven mythology versus teaching the scientific evidenced-based evolution. In other words, a SCIENCE teacher has to acknowledge an unproven theory based on pure malarkey as the scientific equivalent to proven scientific theory? Yep! That's right. *facepalm

The three gentlemen, representing 75% of the school board (one woman is not present) all believe that evolution is just a theory. Gravity, apparently is just a theory too, right?

Bruce Knell, who has 40 years of teaching experience, believes creationism should be taught in Putnam County Schools just as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is taught.

“I think we can’t single one position,” Knell said. “If we’re going to teach one, we should teach all theories.

Knell, along with incumbents Sam Sentelle and Jack Coyner met with Gazette-Mail editors Thursday. Diana McCallister is also a candidate for one of the two open spots on the Putnam Board of Education, but did not attend the meeting Thursday.

Sentelle, who is currently president of the West Virginia School Board Association, said that both theories are just that — theories — and should be taught as such.

“I don’t think we should be teaching creationism or evolution as a fact,” Sentelle said.

Coyner, who has served on the board three times with Sentelle, took a more neutral stance on the topic. He said he teaches whatever is in the textbooks provided to him.

“If it’s in the book I’ll teach it,” Coyner said. “I don’t want to start a riot.”

Coyner's point raises another problem. Recall what happened in October, 2015, when Texas textbooks reclassified the slave trade as the Atlantic Triangular Trade and completely omitted the fact that these were not workers brought to the American South of their own volition.

The publisher of one of Texas’ controversial social studies textbooks has agreed to change a caption that describes African slaves as immigrant “workers” after a Houston-area mother’s social media complaint went viral over the weekend.

If something is in a book that doesn't make it factual. Greek mythology is available in book form yet we acknowledge the genre as fiction. Why isn't an equally unproven theory like the implausible idea of Creationism taught as such too?

As you may have surmised, West Virginia is one of those 'States Rights' places where local control is most important. This really means that they would like to impose their religious theories as 'fact' in areas where they absolutely do not belong. It's not just science, it's mathematics as well.

The same school board, in 2014, rejected adoption of the Common Core math standards, choosing instead to stick with the “old” ways. In other words, they said no to higher standards that create stronger math students.

This is a district that has a “shortage of science and math teachers.” And no wonder. No educated person would choose to work in a District run by people who have so little respect for science and math.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail points out that In 2016, 52 teachers and staff retired from Putnam County Schools. I wonder why?

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