Darwinist hypocrites protest proper ouster of education official
A news article said,
The state's director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.
Chris Comer, who has been the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum for more than nine years, offered her resignation this month.
In documents obtained Wednesday through the Texas Public Information Act, agency officials said they recommended firing Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. But Comer said she thinks political concerns about the teaching of creationism in schools were behind what she describes as a forced resignation.
Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.
Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation being given by Barbara Forrest, author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse," a book that says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Forrest was also a key witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case concerning the introduction of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania school district. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities, saying, "FYI."
Agency officials cited the e-mail in a memo recommending her termination. They said forwarding the e-mail not only violated a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review, "it directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science."
The memo adds, "Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral."
In addition to the e-mail, the memo lists other reasons for recommending termination, including Comer's failure to get prior approval to give a presentation and attend an off-site meeting after she was told in writing this year that there were concerns about her involvement with work outside the agency.
The question is: did she or did she not violate "a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review"? I know that Los Angeles County public officials got into deep-shit trouble for violating a rule prohibiting government officials from privately communicating with each other about matters that they will later vote on.
What is worse, the email was a forwarded email that originated with the National Center for Science Education, an organization dedicated to opposing the teaching of criticisms of Darwinism.
The swiftness of the reaction -- a complaint was sent to Comer's supervisors less than two hours after she sent the email -- reflects the gravity of the offense:
The call to fire Comer came from Lizzette Reynolds, who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as deputy legislative director for Gov. George W. Bush. She joined the Texas Education Agency as the senior adviser on statewide initiatives in January.
Reynolds, who was out sick the day Comer forwarded the e-mail, received a copy from an unnamed source and forwarded it to Comer's bosses less than two hours after Comer sent it.
"This is highly inappropriate," Reynolds said in an e-mail to Comer's supervisors. "I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities."
The news article also said,
As for the e-mail, Comer said she did pause for a "half second" before sending it, but said she thought that because Forrest was a highly credentialed speaker, it would be OK.
That is like the Wickedpedia administrators' argument that it is OK to break the rule against citation of personal blogs if the blog is "notable." So she knew that what she was doing was wrong and is trying to use a "best butter" argument to defend her action. Here is the "best butter" story again, from the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland:
The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.
Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'
`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the March Hare.
`It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.
`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.'
The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the best butter, you know.'
Labels: Chris Comer