California high school history teacher found guilty for saying creationism is "superstitious nonsense"

Historians in the News

A federal judge ruled that a public high school history teacher violated the First Amendment when he called creationism "superstitious nonsense" during a classroom lecture.

U.S. District Judge James Selna issued the ruling Friday after a 16-month legal battle between student Chad Farnan and his former teacher, James Corbett.

Farnan sued in U.S. District Court in 2007, alleging that Corbett violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment by making repeated comments in class that were hostile to Christian beliefs.

The lawsuit cited more than 20 statements made by Corbett during one day of class, all of which were recorded by Farnan, to support allegations of a broader teaching method that "favors irreligion over religion" and made Christian students feel uncomfortable.

During the course of the litigation, the judge found that most of the statements cited in the court papers did not violate the First Amendment because they did not refer directly to religion or were appropriate in the context of the classroom lecture.

But Selna ruled Friday that one comment, where Corbett referred to creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense," did violate Farnan's constitutional rights....
Read entire article at AP

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Lisa Kazmier - 5/6/2009

I'd rather someone told the truth for once rather than spout PC claptrap that never takes a stand. Might as well hide and lie then.

Lisa Kazmier - 5/6/2009

This is why I never want to teach at a public high school, since the right to believe hooey is more important than teaching.

Randll Reese Besch - 5/6/2009

He was in the wrong to call it "religious, superstitious nonsense," in his class, not once but several times. He should have simply said it doesn't fit within the purview of science and leave it at that. Instead he crossed the line and should be reprimanded for it but not lose his job.