A Dover mystery -- why sixty library copies of same book -- solved
The answer is that the board originally wanted to use the book as a "companion text," so probably wanted each student to have a copy. The Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion says,
. . . .at the August 2, 2004 meeting, Buckingham opposed the purchase of "Biology," which was recommended by the faculty and administration, unless the Board also approved the purchase of "Pandas" as a companion text. Only eight members of the Board were present on August 2, 2004 and the initial vote to approve the purchase of "Pandas" failed on a four to four vote with Buckingham, Harkins, Geesey, and Yingling voting for it. . . . .. After Buckingham stated that he had five votes in favor of purchasing "Pandas" and if the Board approved the purchase of "Pandas," he would release his votes to also approve the purchase of "Biology," Yingling changed her vote and the motion to approve the purchase of "Biology" passed. . . . . At trial, Buckingham testified that at the meeting he specifically said "if he didn't get his book, the district would not get the biology book." (citations to testimony omitted)
Later, a compromise with the teachers changed Pandas from a "companion" text to a classroom "reference" text, and the copies of Pandas were eventually placed in the library:
Despite the fact that the teachers strongly opposed using "Pandas" as a companion text, they agreed that "Pandas" could be placed in the classroom as a reference text as a compromise with the Board.
The teachers reneged on the compromise by refusing to read the official statement announcing the presence of the Pandas books in the library. Maybe the teachers might have agreed to read the statement if the school board had accepted the teachers' recommendations for the wording of the statement -- nonetheless, to me it is pretty clear that the teachers acted in bad faith.
Later, the official statement referred to other, unnamed books about Intelligent Design:
Administrators were thus compelled to read the statement to ninth graders at Dover High School in January 2005 because of the refusal by the teachers to do so. (citation of testimony omitted) The administrators read the statement again in June 2005. By that time, Defendants had modified the statement to refer to other, unnamed books in the library that relate to ID; however "Pandas" remains the only book identified by name in the statement. Defendants offered no evidence concerning whether the other books can be found in the library, including whether they are placed near Pandas.
One of the problems was that the school board members were too clueless to know that Intelligent Design is only one of many criticisms of evolution theory.
Anyway, that is the story of why there were sixty copies of the same book in the library.
Labels: Kitzmiller v. Dover (new #2)