TOPEKA — Christian parents in the state of Kansas have filed a lawsuit challenging newly-adopted educational standards that would mandate children as young as five to be taught about evolution and global warming as if scientific fact.
In June of this year, the Kansas Board of Education joined 25 other states and the National Research Council to adopt new science standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. But the accepted guidelines have been opposed by the Citizens for Objective Public Education, along with a number of Christian parents in the state, “who seek to instill in their children a belief that life is a creation made for a purpose, that does not end on death and is not simply a purposeless occurrence that is the product of an unguided evolutionary process.”
In filing a lawsuit to stop the standards from going into effect, the 15 parents representing a total of 18 children assert that the origin of life is an inherently religious topic, and that the new guidelines essentially promote the religion of atheism and materialism.
“[T]he F&S begin the indoctrination of the materialistic/atheistic worldview at the age of five or six with young impressionable minds that lack the cognitive or mental development and scientific, mathematical, philosophical and theological sophistication necessary to enable them to critically analyze and question any of the information presented and to reach their own informed decision about what to believe about ultimate questions fundamental to all religions,” the lawsuit outlines.
They further argue that the curriculum, by mandating that children be taught evolution from kindergarten, shows that the school board has the intention to indoctrinate youth with secularism.
“The effect of teaching for thirteen years only the materialistic/atheistic side of a religious controversy to an audience that is not age appropriate is religious, not educationally objective, and is indicative of an intent to inculcate and establish that non-theistic religious worldview in the children,” the complaint continues.
John Calvert, an attorney involved with the suit, told the Topeka Capital Journal that he believes that the adopted standards will brainwash students into becoming evolutionists from a young age.
“By the time you get into the third grade, you learn all the essential elements of Darwinian evolution,” he explained. “By the time you’re in middle school, you’re a Darwinist.”
In so doing, Citizens for Objective Public Education and the parents involved in the suit state that schools will thus “treat atheists and materialists as favored insiders and theists as disfavored outsiders, and otherwise cause the state of Kansas to be excessively entangled with religion.”
The lawsuit therefore seeks an injunction against the implementation of the standards, and names all ten members of the Kansas Board of Education as defendants, as well as Commissioner Diane DeBacker and the state Department of Education.
The Pacific Justice Institute out of Sacramento also joined the suit as co-counsel. President Brad Dacus said that the adopted standards are an infringement of the U.S. Constitution.
“It’s an egregious violation of the rights of Americans to subject students—as young as five—to an authoritative figure such as a teacher who essentially tells them that their faith is wrong,” he stated. “It’s one thing to explore alternatives at an appropriate age, but to teach theory that is devoid of any alternative which aligns with the belief of people of faith is just wrong.”