Cobb: Evolution case turns to petitions

The AJC has some more information about the latest happenings in the Selman case: Evolution case turns to petitions.

When asked in a telephone interview Wednesday if he thought the March 2002 petitions ever existed, [Cobb County School District’s lawyer] Gunn said, “I have my doubts.”

But on March 28, 2002, the day the school board adopted the stickers, Rogers told the board she had collected signatures from 2,300 people who were dissatisfied with science texts that espoused “Darwinism unchallenged,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the following day.

A few days later, a Journal-Constitution reporter examined the petitions at the Cobb school system offices and took notes on names and phone numbers of some of the people who had signed.

On Wednesday, Gunn said Cobb school board spokesman Jay Dillon does not believe that ever happened.

In an article published April 14, 2002, the Journal-Constitution again reported that the school board had agreed to insert the stickers inside science texts in response to pressure from several dozen parents who criticized the teaching of evolution. The article said the parents had presented petitions with 2,000 names of county residents who demanded accuracy in textbooks. The Cobb school board did not challenge the existence of the petitions at that time.

Bramlett said Wednesday he believes the petitions were given to the board in March 2002 and thinks the record supports Cooper’s finding that it occurred.

“The trial court heard the testimony,” Bramlett said of Cooper. “The trial court was there. That’s the reason in our legal system that the trial judge’s fact finding is entitled to deference by the appellate courts.”