Dover PA, Intelligent design
Adventures of William Buckingham
Buckingham interview on YouTube, Evolution is stupid
Dover board member back, Friday, December 31, 2004
Bill Buckingham missed a meeting appointing legal defense for the district.
By JOSEPH MALDONADO
Dover Area School Board member Bill Buckingham, who headed the board's push to have intelligent design included in the district's science curriculum and then missed three board meetings — including the one at which the school board appointed a legal team to defend a lawsuit over the new policy — is back on the scene.
For the York Daily Record/Sunday News
"All I can tell you is that I had to take care of some personal business," he said Thursday.
Before he left in early December, he said, representatives from the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., advised him not to say where he was going or what the personal matters pertained to. (a secular issue?)
On Dec. 20, without Buckingham present, the board voted to appoint the Thomas More Center to defend it against a lawsuit filed on behalf of 11 parents in the district who do not want intelligent design to be taught in Dover Area biology classes.
More than a week ago, Thomas More center president Richard Thompson said he wanted to get in touch with Buckingham but didn't know where to find him.
Buckingham said he'll attend the board's meeting Monday.
"I hope I haven't given the impression that I have been ducking the issues or hiding," he said.
Buckingham said he is ready for the district's day in court.
"It has always been my contention that this board hasn't done anything wrong," he said. "So let's get on with it."
Attorneys for parents who are suing the district have said they want to depose Buckingham to help them determine whether to file a request for a temporary restraining order in hopes of preventing intelligent design from being taught this semester in ninth-grade biology class. That could occur as early as Jan. 13.
Monday, former board president Alan Bonsell, current president Sheila Harkins and district Supt. Richard Nilsen are scheduled to give legal depositions on the issue.
Intelligent design suggests that life was created by a designer, which critics say equates to a deity or god. They argue that teaching the theory violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
"We do not want to teach religion," said Buckingham, who is chairman of the curriculum committee. "That's not what this is about."
Former board president Alan Bonsell reiterated what he has said since the curriculum change.
"The board simply wants to provide an alternative, scientific theory of how the world works," he said. "And intelligent design is science."
Neither Buckingham nor Bonsell would say any more about the curriculum change on the advice of their lawyers.