Parents of students at a Florida middle school are upset over a science assignment that suggested if someone told them “evolution was just a theory, as a way of dismissing it, […] they are trying to mislead you.”
The assignment given to 8th grade students at Heritage Middle School titled “Not Just a Theory” was meant to teach students “current science standards for differentiating scientific theory and scientific law,” a letter sent home to parents explained, according to WKMG-TV.
But some parents, like Jennifer Flinchum, who saw the assignment and how it was worded said it caused a heated reaction.
“The hair on the back of my neck stood up,” she told the news station.
Lisa McNeil told WKMG it wasn’t necessarily the topic of evolution but “just the way they phrased those few sentences how they were kind of taking the rights away from the parents.”
Here’s what the assignment said:
Next time someone tries to tell you that evolution is just a theory, as a way of dismissing it, as if it’s just something someone guessed at, remember that they’re using the non-scientific meaning of the word. If that person is a teacher, or minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better. In fact, they probably do, and are trying to mislead you.
WKMG reported that after parents started balking at the assignment, the school issued an apology letter.
“Recently in 8th grade science assignment titled ‘Not just a theory,’ was distributed in an attempt to address current science standards for differentiating scientific theory and scientific law,” the letter stated, according to WKMG. “The reading does meet this criterion up until the last two sentences that state, ‘If that person is a teacher, or minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better… In fact, they probably do, and are trying to mislead you.’
“Upon this coming to our knowledge, the lesson had been retracted,” the letter continued. “In fact, please know that we apologize for this resource being used and take comfort knowing that it will not be used again. At no time, is it our place to interfere with authorities of household beliefs. Should you like to discuss this further then please do not hesitate to contact me.”
Flinchum told WKMG that this incident makes her “question what else they’re going to put in front” of her son this year.
Watch WKMG’s report:
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