High School Senior Leads Effort to Repeal Louisiana Anti-Evolution Law

I’ve long had a soft spot for young people standing up to religious bullying. So I want to give a shout out to Zack Kopplin, a Baton Rouge Magnet High School Senior. Kopplin is leading a campaign to repeal the stealth creationist law that is the 2008 Louisiana Science Eduction Act.

In December, Kopplin stood up to the Louisiana Family Forum, a Christian organization that had been trying to get creationist-language inserted into state public school textbooks. LFF members had argued that the proposed textbooks were biased in favor of evolution. (Reality is just so unfair!) Kopplin led a campaign to lobby the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to side with sound science. Due in large part to his efforts, board members, by an 8-2 vote, agreed to proceed with the purchase of biology textbooks.

The (Baton Rouge) Advocate published an editorial in December, praising Kopplin’s work.

The newest giant-killer in state education policy? A 17-year-old student from Baton Rouge High School, who became the spokesman against new efforts to attack the theory of evolution.

Now Kopplin is turning his attention to an education law that should have never been passed in the first place, one based on intelligent design-promoter Discovery Institute’s sample “Academic Freedom” bills, which paves the way for sneaking creationism into science class. While lawmakers have denied the law has anything to do with inserting creationism into science class, I’ve written about how members of Louisiana school boards interpret the law here.

Admittedly, Kopplin and other supporters of the Constitution in Louisiana have an uphill battle. Only three members of the House voted against the original law. State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, has announced that she will sponsor the repeal legislation.

Kopplin’s web site repealcreationism.com provides more information about the campaign.

So far, Louisiana is the only state to take the bait, but similar anti-evolution bills have been submitted in Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kentucky. So Kopplin’s latest efforts are important not only to students in Louisiana, but to those across the country.

Go get ‘em, Zack.