Louisiana Parish Bans Religion From Science Classes

New Orleans, La., school officials have taken a strong stand in favor of sound science education.

In December, the Orleans Parish School Board voted to reject any science textbook that “presents creationism or intelligent design as science or scientific theories.” The board also adopted a policy that will prohibit science teachers from lecturing on creationism or religion.

“No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach any aspect of religious faith as science or in a science class,” the new policy states. “No teacher of any discipline of science shall teach creationism or intelligent design in classes designated as science classes.”

The ban on creationism in public schools was led by Orleans Parish School Board President Thomas Robichaux, who also helped make sure Orleans Parish schools won’t be buying revisionist history books, either.

Robichaux has faced many critics because of his efforts, and he addressed them with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt.

“‘It is not the critic who counts…’” Robichaux said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “‘The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.’”

Robichaux added, “I am proud to have been in the arena with all of you.”  

The Orleans Parish action is significant in a state led by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has fought hard to give millions of taxpayer dollars to religious schools through vouchers and also signed legislation intended to introduce creationist concepts into public schools.