Susan Darst Williams
Bullying Alleged In Proposed Science Standards For Schools
Opinion, State Board of Education to act on Friday, by Susan Darst Williams, June 06, 2002
Lately, I have been been observing some grownup bullying going on involving Nebraska's proposed science standards and how our kids are taught about the theory of biological evolution.

On Friday, the State Board of Education will decide on standards that, as written now, discourage academic freedom of teachers and encourage indoctrination of our kids in what I call "evolutionism." I call it that because, like all "isms," the theory is mired in rigid dogma, stereotypes, coverups, hoaxes, misinformation, contradictions and head-scratching inconsistencies, but students aren't being taught all that.

Instead, because of some mean-spirited bullying, distortions of scientific evidence, and despicable peer pressure tactics by a small group of people who want science taught their way, anybody who advocates for a more balanced teaching of evolution in Nebraska's science classrooms is labeled a wacko or worse.

That's not playing fair and square. That's bullying.

The way the standards are written now, a lot of the diversity of opinion about life's origins and development will be censored out of our science classrooms. Can you imagine state history standards that censor out differences of opinion about events of the past? State language standards that censor out differences in interpretation of novels? So why would we accept these restrictions in science class?

Because we're letting the bullies have their way. And that's wrong.

Kids need to learn how to understand diversity in order to be critical thinkers. If these standards stay in place, evolutionism will just be "downloaded" into kids, like propaganda. I think that's sad, especially with all the great science there is to be taught today.

Evolution is much more controversial than other scientific theories, and I just think the proposed revisions in the state science standards that come from the Nebraska grassroots group, Concerned Citizens for Objective Science Education, would do a lot of good.

What's it going to take to get the State Board of Education to accept their revisions? Well, I'm going to ask the "Evolution Uber Alles" bullies a few questions and see if they can answer them. Maybe you have a few of your own to add.

If they can't, I hope the State Board of Education will pass those revised standards and tell them to go to the end of the line . . . because here in Nebraska, we play fair and square.


Susan Darst Williams is a wife and mother of four who lives at the base of Mount Laundry, Nebraska. She is also a frequent contributor to and her columns on education have prompted wide-ranging discussions via our Feedback feature. We hope that this trend will continue.