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The Dover Trial

The Dover Trial

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The Dover Trial

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  1. The Dover Trial

  2. Introduction The Dover trial otherwise known as Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District or The Dover Panda Trial. Trial was about questioning intelligent design’s eligibility to be taught in public schools in Dover, Pennsylvania.

  3. Background Dover, Pennsylvania has approximately 1,931 people. Approximately 45% of the people identify themselves as religious. The religious breakdown is Evangelical Lutheran Church in America(23%), Catholic(22%), United Methodist(18%), United Church of Christ(12%), and Other(25%). The main public high school is Dover Area High School which has 1075 students.

  4. Background Given that 45% call themselves religious in the city, there was bound to be religious tension from time to time. In 1998, Zach Strausbaugh, a student at the time of Dover High School, painted a 4 by 16 foot mural of evolution. It depicted how humans evolved from monkeys. He donated it to the school. In 2003, the janitor, Larry Reeser found it offensive and burned it. The town was in uproar with the town split on loving the mural or loving that is was burned. This is where the controversy began.

  5. Background After people began to take sides some locals realized that evolution was the only science being taught in their schools. Some wanted them to put another theory called Intelligent Design, which is a theory that basically says that some things are too complex to be evolved and that there had to be a designer – or God.

  6. School Changes Textbook In June 2004, the Dover Area School District began its selection of a biology textbook. In the past their textbooks focused on evolution. In August 2004, the school district selected the textbook: Biology: The Living Science, by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine. Now they had their textbooks recommended by the science teachers, however, 50-60 copies of an intelligent design book called Of Pandas and People was anonymously donated to use in the classrooms.

  7. School Changes Textbook Since receiving the intelligent design book, the school board passed an intelligent design curriculum policy, and two school board members resigned because of it as a sign of protest. In November 2004, the school board issued how the policy was to be implemented and stated a one minute speech about the addition of intelligent design in classrooms.

  8. The Suit Some parents were outrage at the new addition of intelligent design being added to the curriculum. Less than a month later, they filed a suit to the Federal District Court against the school board on the grounds that it violated the Establishment clause, which separates church and state functions. They believed the theory was religious and should not be included in public schools. The parents were represented by Pennslyvania ACLU, Americans United, and Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  9. The Suit In 2005, the school districts’ defense filed to answer the complaint. They issued a letter to the parent’s about their children’s biology curriculum. They updated the letter in February and expert witnesses announced and the statements were filed. The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher Of Pandas and People, files “application to intervene.” In August 2008, plaintiffs file for summary judgment.

  10. The Trial In September 2005, the judge denies the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and send the suit to trial. The plaintiffs sought for declaratory and injunctive relief. The bench trail before Judge John E. Jones begins in Federal District Court in Harrisburg, PA. The trial concludes in November 2005.

  11. The Trial Plaintiffs The plaintiffs were all parents of students enrolled in the Dover Area School district. • TammyKitzmiller • BryanRehm • ChristyRehm • Deborah Fenimore • Joel Lieb • Steven Stough • Beth Eveland • Cynthia Sneath • Julie Smith • Aralene "Barrie" D. Callahan • Frederick B. Callahan

  12. The Trial Defendants • Dover Area School District • Dover Area School District Board of Directors • Members who voted for the statement: • Bill Buckingham (resigned August 2005 due to health concerns) • Alan Bonsell • Sheila Harkins • Heather Geesey • Jane Cleaver (resigned October 4, 2004) • Angie Ziegler-Yingling (resigned December 6, 2004) • Members who voted against it: • Noel Wenrich (announced his resignation October 4, 2004; last day of service was October 31, 2004; moved out of the district) • Carol Brown (resigned October 18, 2004 in protest) • Jeff Brown (resigned October 18, 2004 in protest)

  13. The Trial The plaintiffs brought witness such as Kenneth R. Miller, a biology professor to testify. They brought in witnesses of the intelligent design speech, Dover parents, philosophers aware of intelligent design, scientists, an expert witness, and many more. As for the defense, they brought in Michael Behe, who was a professor at Lehigh University and is a leader in the intelligent design movement. They also brought to the stand other intelligent design scientists, a professor, a superintendent, and other people as well.

  14. The final verdict In December 2005, Judge Jones states that the intelligent design policy violates the U.S. Constitution. He issued a 139 page findings act that concluded how the board violated the constitution. He said that intelligent design represented a religious belief. The school board could no longer force teachers to teach about intelligent design and not to discourage the teaching of evolution. In February 2006, the Dover Are School District must pay more than one million dollars in legal fees to the plaintiffs.

  15. Quiz • What is the Dover Trial also called? a. The Dover Evolution Trial b. The Evolution 2 Trial c. The Dover Intelligent Design Trial d. The Dover Panda Trial -

  16. Quiz 2. What were the two main scientific theories that were at the heart of this trial? • Evolution • String Theory • Intelligent Design • Creationist Theory • A & B • A& C - • A & D

  17. Quiz 3. What event first sparked the events leading up to the trial? • The reading of the intelligent design policy • The burning of the evolution mural - • The addition of the intelligent design textbooks • The intelligent design tests

  18. Quiz 4. What percentage of Dover citizens consider themselves religious? • 35% • 40% • 45% - • 50% • 55%

  19. Quiz 5. True or False. The Intelligent design book was donated to the Dover school district. • True - • False

  20. Quiz 6. True or False. The Intelligent Design book was voted not be used in the classroom by the Dover school board. • True • False -

  21. Quiz 7. Who were the plantiffs? • Biology School Teachers • School Teachers • Scientists • Dover school parents -

  22. Quiz 8. What did the plantiffs say the Dover School District violate? • The Establishment Clause - • The Third Amendment • The Fifth Amendment • The Butler Act

  23. Quiz 9. What did the judge decide? • The plaintiffs win - • The defendants win • Both are out of order • It never went to trial

  24. Quiz 10. How much did the judge make the losing parties pay for their opponents’ court fees? • Under one million • One million exactly • Over one million – • No monetary compensation

  25. Resources