You’re never too young – a high school student fighting to repeal creationism

Wow. Zack Kopplin is my hero: he is a high school student (!) rallying the troops to help repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, which was passed in 2008. The act allows for creationist or anti-evolution teachers to bring “supplementary materials” into class that could undermine the proper teaching of evolutionary biology, effectively allowing creationism to enter the classrooms of Louisiana.

Zack and his cause recently received coverage from Michael Zimmerman at the Huffington Post:

Zack doesn’t consider himself to be brave. Rather he says he’s simply out to correct a grievous wrong that was foisted on the people of Louisiana. “When LSEA was originally passed, Louisiana Family Forum told legislators that the bill was not about creationism. The legislators trusted them, but actions in Livingston Parish have shown how the legislators were tricked.” This past summer, after the curriculum director for Livingston’s public schools claimed that LSEA allowed the district to present “critical thinking and creationism” in science classes, board members responded enthusiastically, with one asking, “Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach creationism?” and another adding, “Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom.”

Brave or not, Zack Kopplin deserves our praise. Not many among us would be willing to take on the formidable forces in Louisiana promoting creationism. In the face of such opposition, Zack is a realist. “I believe we can pass repeal this year, but if not, I know that overturning this law will become inevitable as more and more people learn what it’s about.”

Christopher Reeve would be proud of this young man.

I’m proud of him too.

For updates on the fight you can follow Zack on his blog or the “Repealing Louisiana’s Creationism Law” Facebook page.

One thought on “You’re never too young – a high school student fighting to repeal creationism”

  1. Naon: just an FYI. Not to downplay the significance of Zach's work (he's doing a great job and he is sincere in his beliefs) but he does have an advantage when it comes to lobbying for this sort of thing. His father, Andy Kopplin, is the former chief of staff for two Louisiana governors (that's one of the highest ranking non-elected positions in Louisiana state government) and he is currently the chief administrative officer of New Orleans, which is the highest-ranking appointed position in that city (Louisiana's largest). I am not suggesting that Andy is doing Zach's work for him – he's not – but having such a figure as mentor AND father certainly has to be an advantage. I'm proud of what he's doing, and am glad he's doing it, but it's not like it came completely out of "inherent genius", either.

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