N.J. Governor Says Schools Can Offer Creationism

According to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, public school districts should be free to determine whether to teach creationism in science classes.

Claiming that it is a decision that should be made “at the local level,” Christie made his assertion at a town hall in Manalapan, N.J., in June and then reiterated his stance at a press conference the next day.

“Evolution is required teaching,” Christie said. “If there’s a certain school district that also wants to teach creationism, that’s not something we should decide in Trenton.”

Church-state experts say Christie’s comments contradict decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court. On more than one occasion, the justices have ruled that creationism is a religious concept and does not belong in public school science curriculum.

“Instead of encouraging local school boards to violate the Constitution,” said Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “governors should be supporting sound science education and a strong public school system.”