LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The pending adoption of new science textbooks in Louisiana public schools has sparked a statewide evolution debate among state school officials and concerned parents.
On Tuesday a majority of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed to adopt a new set of high school biology textbooks. The full state board will take up a vote on the textbook adoption on Thursday.
The state board's decision has some southwest Louisiana parents across the state afraid that the textbooks will fail to explain the many scientific challenges to evolution.
"I think it goes along with this intelligent design that they want to teach and it's not scientifically backed up," said Amanda Trahan, a concerned parent from Grand Lake. "It has no proof and that scientific proof should be taught in the classroom."
According to the Calcasieu Parish School's Textbook Department, the state board adopts new science textbooks for Louisiana schools every 7 years. Calcasieu school officials said this is controversy arises with each science textbook adoption.
"It happens every time the science books come up for adoption," said Steve Wieschhaus, Director of the Textbook Department for Calcasieu Parish Schools. "This topic always draws some passionate feelings from people who have differing views on creationism verses evolution."
The Calcasieu Parish School System has an open display that allows all Calcasieu residents to come and look at the textbooks before the parish votes on a local adoption.
"We want the parent input and the citizens input of what is going to be in the hands of our children and what they're learning so we want their input," said Wieschhaus.
The textbooks are currently on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days from now through February 15th at the Calcasieu Parish School Board Textbook Department located at 3310 Broad St. in Lake Charles.
Anyone who wishes to make an objection must do it in writing to Superintendent Wayne Savoy before February 15th.