Saturday, December 13, 2008

Student's Op-Ed On Evolution Rejected For Class Magazine

In Franklin County, Virginia, the Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration is a high school alternative that allows students to explore various careers. One of the courses it offers is Introduction to Media. The class produces a news magazine titled "In the Groove." Yesterday's Roanoke Times reports that a 16-year old student in the class, Brandon Creasy, says an opinion piece on evolution that he wrote for the magazine is being censored by the school's principal. The piece explains evolution by natural selection and says: "Evolution is a fact folks, not a theory!" (The full text of Creasy's essay accompanies the Times article.)

Principal Kevin Bezy says the piece needs to be revised because "It didn't present the theory with a sensitivity for those who hold other theories." The teacher of the course says that Principal Bezy was concerned that the article sounded angry at the church and could lead to community backlash. Brandon Creasy says his article was censored because the principal does not believe in evolution. Bezy says his personal views are irrelevant; he was acting in an unbiased way. Teacher David Campbell says he is using the situation to teach his class about the First Amendment and its application to student publications. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]

UPDATE: Commenters to this posting point out that the principal may have had other more legitimate reasons to reject the essay-- namely its resemblance to one available online.