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Archive for Wednesday, March 10, 1999

SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES QUIZZED ABOUT EVOLUTION

March 10, 1999

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School board candidates offered their views on a foreign language requirement and on teaching evolution during a forum on Tuesday night.

Evolution should be taught as part of science classes, all seven candidates for the Lawrence school board said at a forum Tuesday night.

But the candidates, who answered patrons' questions at Sunflower School, offered a variety of responses to a question on that issue posed by a woman in the audience.

"What would you do if your child came home and said they were being taught that evolution was fact and that no alternatives were being offered?" the woman asked.

"Evolution is a theory not a fact," said candidate Jack Davidson, a retired Kansas University physics and astronomy professor. "If it were being taught as fact, I'd certainly take issue with that."

Cille King said she would be willing to listen to any patrons' concerns on such an issue.

"I'm someone who can be approached by anyone who has a concern," the candidate said.

"I would probably think they were getting a pretty good science lesson," said Mary Loveland, the only incumbent in the field.

Candidate Scott Morgan said if faced with the scenario, "I wouldn't be troubled at all. Science is ever-changing."

Sue Morgan, another candidate but no relation to Scott Morgan, also said the situation would not bother her.

"I don't have a particular concern about that."

Challenger Jeff Morrow said evolution, like other scientific theories, should be taught in science classes.

Candidate Carmela Sibley said she would support a class, separate from science, for creationism or other views about how the Earth and universe came to be.

Candidates also offered a variety of views on whether they would vote for a foreign language requirement for high school students.

"Without a specific proposal, I can't say how I would vote on it," Scott Morgan said. "I would want to hear all the pros and cons."

Davidson, King, Loveland, Morrow and Sibley said they would support such a measure.

"I'm in favor of having foreign languages ... but the question is, what is it going to replace?" asked Sue Morgan.

About 40 people attended the forum.

The top four vote-earners in the April 6 election will serve on the school board.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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