Parents: Science lesson inappropriate
Assignment focused on difference between scientific laws, theories
DELTONA, Fla. – A controversial class assignment has forced a Volusia County school to issue an apology.
[WATCH: News 6's first report ]
The lesson has since been pulled from Heritage Middle School. It was called "Not Just a Theory". The assignment was on scientific standards, differentiating between a scientific theory and scientific law. The lesson, however, turned personal for parents because of two lines.
Parents went to social media fearing the assignment insinuated anyone dismissing evolution was misleading students.
The line reads, "If that person is a teacher, a minister, or some other figure of authority, they should know better. In fact, they probably do and they are trying to mislead you," read the 8th-grade assignment.
The Volusia County School District spokesperson said the assignment was not district-mandated. Three science teachers used it a few weeks ago. When parents such as Jennifer Flinchum first read those lines, "the hair on the back of my neck stood up," she said.
"It's not so much the evolution aspect of it, it's just the way they phrased those few sentences how they were kind of taking the rights away from the parents," said parent, Lisa McNeil.
The complaints forced the school to pull the lesson and issue a letter of apology.
The letter read in full: 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 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 Upon this coming to our knowledge, the lesson had been retracted. 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.
"It does make me question what else they're going to put in front of him for the rest of the year," said Flinchum.
News 6 is working with other school districts to find out if this lesson is taught elsewhere.
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