Here’s a little public service announcement to all of you budding science teachers. If you’re a new biology teacher in a public high school, it’ll do you good to stick to teaching science.
If the article above is correct, Kris Helphinstine couldn’t last longer than eight days as a biology teacher before unleashing the crazy:
Kris Helphinstine included Biblical references in material he provided to students and gave a PowerPoint presentation that made links between evolution, Nazi Germany and Planned Parenthood.
The Biblical references were probably merely inappropriate in a high school biology class. But “links between evolution, Nazi Germany, and Planned Parenthood”? Do we really need the tinfoil-hat conspiracy crowd teaching our high schoolers? No, we don’t. The local school board felt that way, too. They fired Helphinstine:
“I think his performance was not just a little bit over the line,” board member Jeff Smith said. “It was a severe contradiction of what we trust teachers to do in our classrooms.”
In his defense, Helphinstine said that he was merely trying to teach “critical thinking”. He must have neglected to inform the students of his objectives, since they were apparently more confused by his materials than anything.
As for me, I’m not buying Helphinstine’s excuse. There is plenty of material you can use to teach “critical thinking” in science classes without loading up on the Bible, Planned Parenthood, or Nazi conspiracies. Even if his intentions were honorable***, he led his class into an educational minefield. He shouldn’t have been surprised when one of those mines went off.
***It’d be nice to see the materials used in the class. That’d help us judge his intentions.
Update: It doesn’t look so good for Helphinstine. More here