The course at Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec, which serves a rural area north of Los Angeles, was proposed by a special education teacher last month and approved by the board of trustees in an emergency meeting on New Year’s Day. The 11 parents are seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the course, which is being held during the session that ends on Feb. 3.
Last month, a Federal District Court in Pennsylvania ruled that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design in a public school science class because it promoted a particular religious belief. After the ruling, people on both sides of the debate suggested that it might be constitutionally permissible to examine intelligent design in a philosophy, comparative religion or social studies class.
But the parents, represented by lawyers with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, contend that the teacher is advocating intelligent design and “young earth creationism” and is not examining those ideas in a neutral way alongside evolution.
Intelligent design posits that biological life is so complex that it must have been designed by an intelligent force. Young earth creationism holds to the biblical account of the origins of life and the belief that the earth is 6,000 years old.