Teacher Won't Lose Job Over Creationism Class

Beau Schaefer reportedly mentioned creationism during science unit on evolution

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials said steps had been taken to ensure that Beau Schaefer would no longer use creationism as part of his classroom instruction. (Published Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011)

    A Libertyville High School teacher won't lose his job for mentioning creationism during a science unit on evolution, District 128 officials decided Tuesday.

    Instead, officials said that steps had been taken to ensure that Beau Schaefer would no longer use creationism as part of his classroom instruction.  Furthermore, the district said in a statement, it has stressed to all teachers that the teaching or referencing of creationism is not allowed.

    Monday's public meeting was called after Schaefer last month quoted documents he said were classroom materials that asked students to compare the stances supporters of creationism and supporters of evolution would take on certain scientific matters, the Daily Herald explained.

    "It is an outrage that a teacher who has lost all effectiveness and all ability to teach is allowed to remain in the classroom," said parent Duncan Miller.

    But Schaefer's supporters said learning about all the topics makes them better prepared for life.

    "He brought up the idea of the debate but he never taught any of the points.  He never taught -- he never pressured us to believe any one way or the other," said sophomore Brian Holzer.

    "I like the more opinions presented, the more viewpoints presented, I think it makes for more intelligent kids," added Holzer's mother, Susan Holzer.

    The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that public school teachers could not teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes because it would serve as an endorsement of a particular religion or belief and thereby would be a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.