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Former state science director sues over intelligent design e-mail

Thanks to aflacgirl84 for the link.

Former state science director sues over intelligent design e-mail

AUSTIN — A former state science curriculum director filed suit against the Texas Education Agency and Education Commissioner Robert Scott on Wednesday, alleging she was illegally fired for forwarding an e-mail about a lecture that was critical of the teaching of intelligent design in science classes.

Christina Comer, who lost her job at the TEA last year, said in a suit filed in federal court in Austin that she was terminated for contravening an unconstitutional policy at the agency that required employees to be neutral on the subject of creationism — the biblical interpretation of the origin of humans.

The policy was in force even though the federal courts have ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal under U.S. Constitution's provision preventing government establishment or endorsement of religious beliefs.

"The agency's 'neutrality' policy has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, and thus violates the Establishment Clause," the lawsuit said.

Ms. Comer also said in her complaint that she was fired without due process after serving as the state science director for nearly 10 years.

Her lawsuit seeks a court order overturning the TEA's neutrality policy on teaching of creationism and declaring that her dismissal was unconstitutional. The suit also seeks her reinstatement to her old job.

The theory of intelligent design holds that the origin of the universe and humans is best explained by an unknown "intelligent cause" rather than through evolutionary processes such as natural selection and random mutation. Critics — and at least one federal judge — contend that intelligent design is nothing more than creationism and has no business being taught in science classes.



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