Creationism in science class, Lucia Mar says 'right intent, wrong action'

Apr 24, 2015

Credit Arroyo Grande High School

An instructor at Arroyo Grande High School will no longer teach creationism in his science class, according to a spokesperson for the Lucia Mar Unified School District. The swift action comes following a parent's complaint and a request to fix the problem voiced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The District says the teacher was using the evolution versus creationism argument as a teaching tool to get students engaged. But, at least one student didn't find the creationism focus appropriate for the subject matter.

"It was the right intent, it was the wrong action," said Chuck Fiorentino, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, who says he believes there was no intent to introduce Christianity on the part of the teacher. 

Fiorentino said the issue came to light on Wednesday after a series of letters were received by the high school, the superintendent and the district's curriculum department.

"We didn't have to do much of an investigation," said Fiorentino. "We went to the teacher and they admitted to what they were doing."

Fiorentino says the district is in the process of "cleaning it all up" and making sure it doesn't happen again at Arroyo Grande High or any of the other schools within the District.

David Leidner with Atheists United SLO says the issue was easily resolved, but was brought to the media's attention to further the discussion.

"We also though want to make sure that all the schools in the area know this is an important issue," said Leidner. "So sometimes that mean that we have to make it a public matter, so that even if we could resolve it completely behind closed doors, that may not be the most beneficial thing to the community as a whole."

The mother of the student said, in a release by AUSLO, that her stance wasn't anti-religious but was about the focus in class being on science.