Chris Comer Sues Texas Agency: 'Neutrality' is Endorsement of Religion

Last fall, Texas science educator Christina Comer was fired for simply advising colleagues of an upcoming talk on Intelligent Design Creationism by professor Barbara Forrest. (See Expelled: Texas Education Agency Fires Staffer for Announcing Talk by Barbara Forrest for some of the details.)

Now, Comer is fighting back. USA Today reports on July 3rd that

A former science curriculum director for the Texas Education Agency has filed a federal lawsuit alleging she was illegally fired for forwarding an e-mail about a speaker who was critical of teaching a controversial alternative to evolution.

Christina Comer, who lost her job at the TEA last year, said in the suit filed Wednesday against the TEA and Education Commissioner Robert Scott that she was terminated for defying an unconstitutional policy that required employees to be neutral on the subject of creationism — the biblical interpretation of the origin of human life.

The e-mail, which was intercepted by a state education leader, was about a speaker coming to Austin who had critical views of creationism and the teaching of intelligent design.

The federal courts have ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal under the U.S. Constitution’s provision preventing government establishment or endorsement of religious beliefs. “The agency’s ‘neutrality’ policy has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, and thus violates the Establishment Clause,” the lawsuit said. … The lawsuit seeks a court order overturning the TEA’s neutrality policy on teaching of creationism and declaring that her dismissal was unconstitutional and her reinstatement to her old job.

Discuss. And, have a safe and happy 4th of July!