Today, Judge John E. Jones, III, a judge for the United States District Court of Middle Pennsylvania, ruled that the Dover Area Public School District had violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution by requiring that teachers, prior to teaching evolution in biology class, read a letter disavowing the theory of evolution. The judge accordingly issued an injunction that prohibited the school district from teaching the Intelligent Design to its students.
It was reported that the school district was unlikely to appeal the order since the school board's membership was replaced by a slate of new members as a result of the November elections.
The decision can be found here.
The letter that the previous school board required teachers to read prior to teaching evolution can be found here.
Although this case is unlikely to be appealed, it's only a matter of time before this issue makes its way to the Supreme Court. A federal appeals court in Georgia recently heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of evolution disclaimer stickers place on biology books, and in November, state education officials in Kansas adopted classroom science standards that call into question the theory of evolution.
I believe that the judge correctly applied the relevant Constitutional standards in this case. It will be interesting to follow the various cases regarding this divisive issue as they work their way through the court system, and even more interesting to ultimately learn of the Supreme Court's position on this issue.