Voters Oust Dover School Board

James Maule maule at
Wed Nov 9 05:56:37 PST 2005

According to an article in this  morning's Philadelphia Inquirer
[ (a free
subscription site)], voters in Dover, Pa., where the intelligent design
curriculum trial recently concluded, replaced  all 8 Republican school
board members who were up for re-election with Democrats who campaigned
on removing intelligent design from the curriculum. This, note, in a
heavily Republican area. (There is a ninth board member whose term did
not end.)

When I saw this my first thought was, ok, the new school board (which
is sworn in on Dec 5) changes the curriculum, and this would seem to
moot the case. Would it be dismissed by agreement? By the judge? Could
it be dismissed? Should it be dismissed?

But further reading revealed that the group "sponsoring" the slate of
Democrats had promised that if they claimed a majority of the school
board, they would not rush to change the curriculum. He stated, "The
guiding force for this group is going to be Judge Jones' decision." So
there goes dismissal by agreement, and I guess there goes dismissal
because the issue is mooted. Unless the judge calls the parties in for
an in-chambers post-trial settlement attempt?

One of the ousted school board members claims the vote was not so much
a vote against intelligent design being taught as a vote against
spending money to litigate the case.

At the end of the article, the writer notes that the Kansas Board of
Education "yesterday approved science standards for public schools that
cast doubt on the theory of evolution."

Jim Maule
Villanova Univesrity School of Law

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