Anti-evolution advocates lose control of Kansas school board in primaries

[JURIST] Hardline Republicans in Kansas lost control of the Kansas Board of Education [official website] during a Tuesday primary vote that brought in more moderate conservatives who support the theory of evolution. The School Board garnered international attention last year when it upheld anti-evolution standards [JURIST report] in schools across the state, using its two-person conservative majority. After Tuesday's election, evolution supporters on the School Board have a two-person majority. The new moderate Republicans on the ballots this fall will face Democratic challengers who also support teaching evolution, paving the way to overturn last year's vote.

Last year, the School Board approved revised science standards [BOE materials] by a vote of 6-4 that require students to understand not only evolution [BBC backgrounder], but also recent religiously-motivated challenges to the theory, such as intelligent design [JURIST news archive], a policy struck down [JURIST report] last December by a federal judge after being embraced in a Pennsylvania school district. In a separate lawsuit challenging a Georgia school board's decision to include stickers in biology books calling "evolution a theory, not a fact," the Eleventh Circuit in May vacated and remanded a district court decision [JURIST report], asking the lower court to determine whether the school district's actions were "religiously neutral." AP has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.



 

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