Forget subterfuge, how about creationist chutzpah? 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — A Christian group plans to hand out 1,000 copies of “The Charles Darwin Bible” to teachers attending the National Education Association (NEA) convention in San Diego this week. The Charles Darwin Bible is a copy of the New Testament, with annotations referring to Christian and creationist beliefs. It’s the latest attempt by creationists to wiggle their religious non-science into the public schools. There is also a creationist edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species available. Since the original text of 150 years ago is not copyrighted, evangelist Ray Comfort slapped a 50-page “special introduction” onto the work and is selling it for a mere 99 cents. Comfort’s plan is for fellow believers to hand the bastardized copies of Origin of Species to their teacher and professor friends. The Charles Darwin Bible is another brainchild of Comfort’s. It’s being distributed by Holman Bible Outreach, which is selling the curiously named book for $3.99 (or $1.75 by the case). Someone ponied up the money to hand a thousand of them out to NEA members. The NEA is one of two professional organizations that represent public school teachers. Its annual convention began June 26 and runs through Friday. Here’s a ...

Teachers: Get off Facebook, and make sure the safety’s on 1

The news had a couple of teaching-related items this past week worth commenting on. Two Mississippi school districts have banned teachers from texting their students — to avoid any hanky-panky with the kids. Meanwhile, a small school district in Texas has decided to allow its teachers to pack heat while on the job — for protection from wacko students. Sad, sad commentaries on the American educational system … According to Associated Press and ABC News reports, the two Mississippi districts (Lamar County, southeast of Jackson, and Lauderdale County, east of Jackson) imposed the new restrictions on teachers following the convictions on sexual misconduct charges of two teachers from elsewhere in that fair state. School district attorneys made the recommendations, apparently. While maybe well intentioned, it’s a stupid restriction. Texting, like dancing, does not necessarily lead to sex. Cracking down on teachers and students texting each other will not eliminate teacher-student liaisons. After all, that kind of “extra-curricular” activity happened long before Web 2.0 — or for that matter, the Bell telephone system — became a reality. Some teachers — myself included — use instant messaging for far more boring reasons, like communicating with students about homework — hardly ideal foreplay. ...
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