goodbye and good riddance to don mcleroy

Texas finally had enough of Don McLeroy's leadership of the school board. But he's still on the board and still a threat to reality-based education.
teach the controversy cthulhu
Illustration by Amorphia Apparel

You have to admit, it takes a rare kind of talent and tone-deafness to make legislators in one of the reddest of red states wonder if you’re going overboard on including religion in the classroom. But crazed Young Earth creationist Don McLeroy managed to accomplish this feat. While his confirmation appeared to be dead in the water, enough of his equally zealous supporters called in to demand a vote in the Texas Senate today. In this afternoon’s vote, McLeroy was stripped of his title as Texas State Board of Education Chairman. He’ll stay on the Board, however the governor now has to appoint someone else as chairman and his powers have been finally curtailed, as well as the damage he can do to the curriculum of the state’s public schools.

Who would be in line to become the next SBOE chairman? There are lots of rumors says Dan Quinn, Texas Freedom Network’s Communications Director, but its still an open question. Ideally the TFN would be happy to see moderate voices getting some consideration, people who understand that the scientific consensus is important in a science curriculum. That’s something McLeroy fervently ignored in his quest to wind back the educational clock for Texan pupils.

But perhaps the strangest thing about McLeroy’s confirmation saga is his insistence that he wasn’t trying to promote religion in the classroom. Instead he says, he was just trying to teach students critical thinking with a new curriculum emphasizing debate. Right. And Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman. You don’t get to write fiery anti-science screeds on your website, or write glowing reviews of self-published garbage which rehashes some of the most asinine accusations against scientists and calls parents who try to teach evolution “monsters,” star in a video in which you declare that someone “has to stand up to those experts” and tell lawmakers that believing the the Earth is 6,000 years old is rational because you heard it in church, then turn around and declare that religion was not your motivation for cramming creationism into public schools. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. Then, again that’s not the world McLeroy occupies.

# politics // don mcleroy / evolution / science education / texas sboe


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