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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Trial transcript: Day 7 (October 6), PM Session, Part 2


THE COURT: All right. Plaintiffs' next witness.

MR. SCHMIDT: Plaintiffs call Bertha Spahr.



having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

THE WITNESS: My name is Bertha Spahr. Bertha is spelled B-e-r-t-h-a. Spahr is S-p-a-h-r.



Q. Mrs. Spahr, are you an employee of the Defendant, Dover Area School District?

A. I am.

Q. What is your position with the district?

A. I am a teacher of chemistry, and I am the science department chair.

Q. When you teach chemistry, do you teach in the senior high school?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And are you the department chair for all science teachers in the district or in the high school?

A. Just high school, which is 9 through 12.

Q. How long have you been a teacher?

A. 41 years.

Q. How long have you been teaching at the Dover Area School District?

A. 41 years.

Q. Have you taught courses other than chemistry?

A. The first two years I was there, I taught physics.

Q. How long have you been head of the department?

A. About 12 years.

Q. Is Jen Miller the next most senior science teacher to you in the department?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell me where you received your undergraduate education?

A. I am a graduate of Elizabethtown College.

Q. When did you graduate?

A. 1965.

Q. And what sort of degree did you take?

A. I have a B.S. in chemistry.

Q. Do you have any education beyond that degree?

A. Yes, I hold a master's degree.

Q. In what subject?

A. In chemical education.

Q. And where did you receive it?

A. From Shippensburg University.

Q. I'm going to ask you some questions about something that has been referred to, at least by me, as a mural. Was there a time when the science department received a mural as a donation or a gift from a graduating student?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you identify the student?

A. Yes, Zach Strausbaugh.

Q. About when did Zach Strausbaugh complete the mural?

A. It was the late 1990's. I believe 1998.

Q. Do you know what the subject matter of the mural was? What did it depict?

A. The traditional, if you will, ascent of man.

Q. Can you describe a little bit more about what you mean by the traditional ascent of man?

A. The mural was 4 feet by 16 feet. At one end of it, you had an ape-like creature on all fours. At the other end of it, you had a man standing upright on his two feet.

Q. Where was the mural when you saw it last?

A. In Room 217, which was the room next to my room before the renovations.

Q. And what year was that?

A. 2002.

Q. Why was the mural in Room 217?

A. The young man who had painted the mural, as his senior focal project, had given the gift to that particular science teacher and, therefore, it was housed in his room.

Q. Was the mural hanging on a wall in the classroom?

A. No, it was not. It was sit sitting on a chalkboard tray.

Q. Why wasn't it hanging on a wall?

A. Because when we asked the district janitorial staff to adhere it permanently to the wall, they would not do so.

Q. Did they say why not?

A. No.

Q. You said it was on a chalk tray?

A. Yes.

Q. Just someplace in a classroom?

A. It was sitting in the back of the classroom, which was approximately a 40-foot room. It was both a lab and a classroom together.

Q. You said in response to my question about when you last saw the mural, it was right before renovations you saw it in this room?

A. Uh-huh.

Q. When did you not see it or what were the circumstances around --

A. The last time I saw the mural was in August of 2002. The teacher to whom the mural was placed in his room was no longer an employee of the district, and I was going into the room to see that the new teacher who was coming had his adequate books and supplies for the coming school year. It was an in-service time.

Q. And I take it, you noticed the mural was not there?

A. On Friday, it was there. On Monday, it was gone.

Q. What happened to the mural?

A. I immediately asked the janitorial staff that served our end of the building if they had removed it for any reason. I then called the assistant principal of the school to make him aware that the mural had disappeared, and asked him if he would investigate as to what happened to that mural.

Q. Were you ever told what happened to the mural?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. Were you told what happened to the mural around this time period, that is the beginning of school and the summer, fall of 2002?

A. Yes.

Q. What were you told?

A. I was told that Mr. Reeser, who was at that point the head of the building and grounds, had come in over the weekend, removed the mural from the classroom, and burned it.

Q. As the chair of the science department, I take it, you weren't asked for your permission to destroy the mural, were you?

A. No.

Q. Did the school administration, to your knowledge, do anything about the destruction of the mural?

A. When it had been determined that Mr. Reeser had removed the mural and burned it, I went to our then superintendent, Dr. Nilsen, and I asked him what was going to happen to the employee who had removed the property and viciously destroyed it.

Q. What were you told?

A. I was told that it was a personnel issue and it was none of my concern.

Q. Moving to a new topic.

A. Okay.

Q. Spring of the following year, did you have a conversation with Assistant Superintendent Baksa in the spring of 2003 about a board member and a concern that the board member had about how evolution was being taught in the biology class?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Please tell us about when that conversation took place?

A. March 31st of 2003.

Q. Was there anyone else involved in the conversation besides yourself and Mr. Baksa?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. All right. Where did that conversation take place?

A. Either outside my room or within the confines of my room.

Q. What did Mr. Baksa tell you?

A. Mr. Baksa, as he often did, stopped, if he was in the building, to contact department chairs on various issues. He said, I would like to inform you or give you a heads up that there is a member of the school board who is interested in having creationism share equal time with evolution.

Q. Did you respond to what Mr. Baksa said?

A. Yes, I responded by asking him, which board member are you referring to, may I ask?

Q. What did he tell you?

A. He told me it was Alan Bonsell.

Q. Did you have any further discussion with Mr. Baksa at that time about the concerns that you just described or the desire to have creation taught 50/50 with evolution?

A. Not at that time.

Q. Did you relay the substance of that conversation to any of the other members of the science department at around that time?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. What did you tell them?

A. I told them that this is an issue which I thought they may be concerned about since they were the ones that were going to teach biology. And as their department chair, I was their mentor. And there was two biology teachers who were untenured, and I knew it would be of concern to them.

Q. Did you speak about this conversation with the high school principal?

A. Yes. The next day, I went to the high school principal, who was then Dr. Trudy Peterman, and I asked her what direction she would give both me and the department concerning this issue.

Q. When you spoke to the teachers, did you tell them to make any changes in how they taught the evolution unit in biology?

A. Not at that time.

Q. Did Dr. Peterman tell you to make any changes to how evolution was taught in biology?

A. The only direction she gave me was to tell the biology teachers that we will teach evolution as directed by the state standards. We could, in fact, mention that there was another theory and then direct the students to either contact their families or their pastors if they wished to investigate that further.

Q. Did you have another meeting later in that year, in the fall of 2003, with Mr. Bonsell where the same subject was discussed?

A. Yes, we did.

Q. Do you recall when that meeting took place?

A. Either early in the fall -- probably September, either August or September.

Q. Who was at that meeting?

A. The science department. Mr. Bonsell was present. Mr. Baksa was present. I do not know others, but I'm sure there were others present. Dr. Peterman may have been there.

Q. At any time before that meeting, did Mr. Baksa give you a further heads-up about Mr. Bonsell's position or concerns?

A. Mr. Baksa and myself and other members of the department talked about the difference between origin of species and origin of life. We did attempt to explain and clarify this issue to him. I believe his background is not in science. And it was then our suggestion that maybe Mr. Bonsell would prefer to meet with the science department, and his questions and concerns could basically be answered by the experts in the field.

Q. Is the meeting then that took place in the fall of 2003 the meeting with Mr. Bonsell that you're talking about?

A. That's correct.

Q. At that meeting, who was the spokesperson, if there was one, for the science department?

A. Primarily Jen Miller.

Q. Why was that?

A. Because she is the veteran biology teacher.

Q. What did she say about evolution and how it was taught at that meeting?

A. We made the -- stressed the fact that evolution is taught as change over time, that we emphasize origin of species and not origin of life.

Q. Did you speak much at that meeting?

A. Not as much as I usually do, no.

Q. Fair enough. How were things left at the end of the meeting between the science teachers and Mr. Bonsell?

A. We felt it was a very congenial meeting. I, myself, and the rest of the department left there seeing that we had answered his concerns and questions, and we felt that, that was -- we had done an adequate job.

Q. At that time, now we're talking about the fall of 2003 --

A. Okay.

Q. -- were you using an older biology textbook?

A. Yes, we were.

Q. Had you already requested that it be replaced with a newer edition of the biology textbook?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have a meeting in the spring of 2004 when that issue came up again, that is the purchase of a new biology textbook?

A. Could you refresh my memory on this, please?

Q. Sure. Do you remember in the spring, around April of 2004, when there was a meeting where the science department was asked why a new textbook was needed?

A. The curriculum committee, is that the meeting you are referring to?

Q. Do you recall a meeting with the curriculum committee around that time?

A. Yes, there were two meetings; one occurred in April, and the other one occurred in June.

Q. I'm talking about the first one.

A. All right.

Q. What do you remember about that meeting?

A. We had been asked previously to submit both the old textbook and the new textbook of the various science courses that were being considered to the board for review. We had done so.

There was also another department within the school that had done the same thing as well, and that was the family and consumer science department. So we were going to that meeting to answer questions that they may have had as to why we have chosen the new version of that book and that particular title and author over the old one.

Q. Now the biology textbook was not the only book that the science department was seeking to replace, is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. At some time before that meeting in around April of 2004, did anyone from the school administrative staff ask to see a copy of the 2002 edition of the biology textbook to look over?

A. Many times. We had been asked to supply them either with copies of the new book we were considering or even the old book that we had used. So more than once, we had given books to the administration for them to disseminate as they saw fit or to whomever had asked for them.

Q. At this April meeting when the justification was made why a new book was needed, was there any discussion of the contents or substance of the biology book on the subject of evolution?

A. I don't specifically remember the evolution topic coming up there. We did more of that at the June 14th meeting, I believe, and that was because the other department was present.

We were simply asked questions as to why, for instance, the chemistry book I had suggested was a new author and a new publisher and what did I find to be more suitable in this one than the one we had had previous to this.

I do remember Mrs. Brown saying, when I said to her, the reason I suggested this one is that the problems, which were written in greater detail, would be easier for the students to understand, and she agreed and said she could even do the math problems in the chemistry section, which was very good.

Q. I take it, you took the lead on the chemistry book?

A. Yes.

Q. And did --

A. Because I'm the only one teaching chemistry.

Q. And did Ms. Miller take the lead on the biology book?

A. She did.

Q. Did you leave that meeting in April of 2004 with the sense that the new biology book was going to be brought forward for consideration by the board?

A. Not at that time.

Q. Okay. Did you have another meeting later in that school year with the curriculum committee on the subject of the biology textbook?

A. Yes, I believe that was in June.

Q. Can you place that meeting in connection with any other events at the school or times in the school year?

A. The biology book again, I believe it was Mr. Buckingham specifically, had asked to see a copy of the new Miller and Levine book. The only book we had available at that time was the teacher edition of that book. And so we forwarded the only copy we had to the administration building for him to be able to review.

Q. Let me pin that down in time, if I can.

A. All right.

Q. Was that request between the meeting in April and the meeting in June?

A. I believe so.

Q. Okay. Did the meeting in June take place at around the last day of school?

A. It was very close to the very end of school.

Q. You mentioned the curriculum committee before. Was the curriculum committee at the meeting in June?

A. Yes.

Q. Who else was there?

A. The curriculum committee at that time consisted of Mrs. Harkins, Mr. Buckingham, and Mrs. Casey Brown, and I believe at that meeting, Alan Bonsell attended, who was at that point president of the school board. He was at some of the curriculum meetings.

Q. You were, obviously, there. Who else was there from the science department?

A. The rest of the biology teachers, Rob Eshbach, Jen Miller. I'm not sure if Mr. Linker was there. He also teaches biology. But on one occasion, I know he was ill, and he's also a coach.

Q. Was Mr. Baksa there?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. What was your understanding of the subject of this meeting before the meeting started? What did you think you were going to be discussing going into the meeting?

A. The biology book and the adoption thereof.

Q. Okay. Did you become aware at some time that Mr. Buckingham had specific concerns about the biology textbook?

A. I had assumed so, because he was the one who specifically asked to review the new book, so I assumed he had some concerns or questions.

Q. Did you have any discussion with Mr. Buckingham at this meeting about the mural?

A. The topic of the mural came up. Mr. Buckingham had made a statement that the new textbook was, if you will, laced with Darwinism, preceding this meeting. When he evaluated the textbook, which he had given us a written copy of what he had enumerated by page and where his concern was, certainly the word Darwin appeared in more than one place.

The other thing that came up was the fact that there is a perception that we taught, man comes from a monkey. And when the word man and monkey came up, I asked him specifically, does this have anything to do with the mural that disappeared out of the room? He just kind of looked at me.

And I said, furthermore, it has come to my attention that at a board meeting earlier in the spring, Mr. Buckingham had a picture of that mural, that somebody in the audience saw him show to the other board members. I specifically asked him where he had obtained that picture.

Q. What did he answer?

A. He did not answer me at all.

Q. At that meeting or in that discussion at the meeting, did he acknowledge having witnessed the destruction of the mural?

A. I do not remember that.

Q. I'm going to show you an exhibit. Bear with me a second.

MR. SCHMIDT: May I approach the witness, Your Honor?

THE COURT: You may.


Q. Mrs. Spahr, I put in front of you a binder of exhibits. I've turned the page to Plaintiffs' Exhibit 132. Do you have that in front of you?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Do you recognize this document?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is it?

A. It was the commentary of Mr. Buckingham after he had reviewed the teacher's edition of the 2002 Miller and Levine book.

Q. When you testified a moment ago that the specific concerns that Mr. Buckingham had written down included references to Darwin, is this the document you were referring to?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. And did you have a discussion of these concerns of Mr. Buckingham at this meeting?

A. Yes, and we did try to point out to him that some of his concerns had to do with the fact that there were things written in the margin of a teacher's edition and there were suggested activities in the teacher's edition that the students would never see. They were not there and teachers would not necessarily use those suggestions.

Q. Who took the lead in presenting this response by the science teachers to Mr. Buckingham's concerns?

A. Jen Miller.

Q. Did you attend a meeting of the school board on June 14th?

A. I did.

Q. Do you recall Charlotte Buckingham making a statement during the open floor session of that meeting?

A. Very clearly.

Q. What do you recall?

A. She stood up and quoted enumerable verses from the Book of Genesis, which is in the Bible.

Q. What was your understanding of the issue before the board that Mrs. Buckingham was speaking to when she made this statement?

A. The controversy over this biology book and its presentation of evolution, and certainly people in the community who felt that creationism or creation-science should be given equal time was certainly within the community, and there were many people at that meeting who addressed the issue of their own opinions during public comment, she being one.

Q. Let me turn to the board members.

A. Okay.

Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Buckingham made any statements during the meeting on June 14th on these issues?

A. Several.

Q. What do you recall him saying?

A. In the interim of the meeting, Mr. Buckingham made the statement, 2000 years ago, someone died on the cross, and, in essence, it's time for us to stand up to be counted. This particular country was founded on Christianity, and the separation of church and state as outlined in the Constitution was a myth.

Q. Did the board approve the purchase of the biology textbook at the June 14th meeting?

A. No, they did not.

Q. Do you recall a meeting in July with Mike Baksa and Jen Miller on a new edition of the biology textbook?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. During that meeting, did you participate in comparing the 2004 edition and the 2002 edition?

A. I was the recorder.

Q. Did you review all the parts of the two textbooks?

A. No.

Q. What parts did you review?

A. Only the chapter dealing with evolution.

Q. At that meeting in July, were you in Mr. Baksa's office?

A. We were actually in Dr. Nilsen's office.

Q. Was Dr. Nilsen present?

A. He would float in and out.

Q. Did you see at that meeting a book called Of Pandas and People?

A. I did.

Q. Were you given a copy of it at that meeting?

A. I was not.

Q. Was there only one copy available?

A. I don't know that at that time, but I was not given a copy of it at the time.

Q. Did you eventually read any part of the book Of Pandas and People?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you do that?

A. Sometime either August or September, and I only read the overview.

Q. I'll come back to that in a minute.

A. All right.

Q. Did you attend a meeting of the board on August 2nd? And by the board, I mean the school board?

A. I did not.

Q. Did you learn after that board meeting that the purchase of the 2004 edition of the biology book had been approved?

A. I learned that there was a controversy over the approvement -- of the approval of that biology book.

Q. Did you learn that the action was taken at the end of the meeting, whatever the controversy was, to approve the purchase?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Did you have a meeting with the curriculum committee on August 30th?

A. We did.

Q. Jen Miller was there?

A. Rob Eshbach.

Q. Mr. Buckingham?

A. Yes.

Q. Other members of the committee?

A. I believe Mr. Reedle was present, and I believe Alan Bonsell was there as well.

Q. What was the subject matter of that meeting as you recall? Was it using Pandas?

A. It had to do with an administrative recommendation that Pandas and People would now become a reference book in the classroom as opposed to what the original proposal was in the August board meeting that was suggested by Mr. Buckingham, and that was that it would be a companion book for students to have along with the Miller and Levine book.

Q. Was the science department agreeable to the compromise, as you described it, to use the Pandas book as a reference?

A. We did agree to it. We felt we were trying to compromise to resolve this conflict.

Q. Do you know how many copies you were to get?

A. 60.

Q. Was there any discussion at the meeting of August 30 about changing the curriculum?

A. None at that time. We didn't know anything about that.

Q. Did you attend a meeting of the school board on August 18th?

A. I did.

Q. Did you understand that the subject of changing the biology curriculum was on the agenda for the board that night?

A. I did.

Q. Did you prepare a statement to be delivered at that meeting?

A. I did.

Q. Would you turn to what has been marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 90? Do you have that in front of you?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. This is a document of three pages in handwriting, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that your handwriting?

A. Indeed.

Q. Did you prepare this statement yourself?

A. These were my notes.

Q. Did you read the statement to the board?

A. I did.

MR. SCHMIDT: Your Honor, I'd like to ask the witness to read the statement here.

THE COURT: Any objection?

MR. GILLEN: If Mr. Schmidt can establish that she read the statement verbatim and that she cannot recall what she said at this time, I have no objection.

MR. SCHMIDT: I don't think the last part is a necessary predicate, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I think the first part is a proper predicate. I agree with Mr. Schmidt. Do you want to ask that question?



Q. Do you understand the comment that Mr. Gillen made, Mrs. Spahr? Did you read this statement as we would read it if we were looking at your handwriting?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Word-for-word?

A. Pretty much.

Q. Well, when you say, pretty much --

A. Yes, I did.

THE COURT: On that basis, we'll let her read the statement.

THE WITNESS: I made the statement under public comment, because the science department wished me to present to the community exactly where the science department stood.

I stood up and said, my name is Bertha Spahr. I am a tax payer in this district, and I am a chairman of the science department. This has been a long and tiresome process of about a year and a half, obviously referring to this curriculum issue involving at that point intelligent design and evolution.

The science department has made every effort to compromise with the Board curriculum committee in the following areas:

Number 1, we agreed to point out the flaws and problems with Darwin's theory origin of species which centers around the change over time.


Q. Let me ask you to just slow down.

A. Slow down. We agreed to state other theories of evolution which oppose Darwin's theory and would assist students seeking additional answers on that subject. We agreed to have the book Of Pandas and People available for reference in each biology classroom.

And number 4, we do not teach origins of life. Since we are supposedly a standards driven district, we are directed to teach evolution, which is a state standard. The curriculum change, which is about to be voted on this evening, many feel will be railroaded through and has not followed past practice.

The board curriculum committee usually has input from the professional staff, the district curriculum committee, community members, and administrators. When this draft was written, no member of the science department was invited to attend.

The science department, including all of its members, vehemently oppose the board curriculum committee's draft that include the words intelligent design in our curriculum. It has been deemed unlawful, illegal, and unconstitutional to teach intelligent design, which we thought was a synonym for creationism and/or creation-science along with evolution. And I cited the Supreme Court case of 1987.

We are not opposed to having a statement. We do not teach origin of life in the curriculum, since then there would be no reason to include intelligent design, which is origin of life. The book Of Pandas and People has, as its subtitle, origin of life.

This inclusion will open the district and possibly its teachers to lawsuits which we feel will be a blatant misuse of the taxpayers' dollars. We further feel that our many years of professional training and science education has not been considered and appears Mr. Buckingham is only concerned with his own personal agenda.

At that point, I stopped, turned to Mr. Buckingham, and asked him, Mr. Buckingham, are you going to direct my teachers to teach intelligent design if it appears on the written curriculum? He did not respond, I might add.

If so, that places them in a no-win situation. They now have two choices; to defy the directive of a school board or to go into a classroom and commit what they believe to be an illegal act.

My last statement was to look at them and say, I challenge you to delay the vote on this issue until we again can attempt to resolve this in a compromise beneficial to all concerned and avoid these possible lawsuits.

Q. Thank you. Did the board delay?

A. No.

Q. Did they adopt a new curriculum?

A. They did.

Q. Did it mention intelligent design?

A. Yes, it did.

Q. And Pandas arrived one day, is that right?

A. Yes, they did.

Q. Did you receive the shipment of Pandas?

A. I did.

Q. Why, because you were science department head?

A. Because I was department chair.

Q. When those books arrived, what was your understanding of what was to be done with them?

A. I was directed in a memo to unpack them, count them, stamp them, and number them.

Q. Who gave you that memorandum?

A. I do not know whether it came from Mr. Reegle. I believe it was from Mr. Reegle.

Q. He was the school principal?

A. He was then the school principal, yes.

Q. Did you unpack the books?

A. I did.

Q. Did you find any materials in the boxes other than the Panda books?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you find?

A. I found a catalogue from the company from whom they had purchased them.

MR. SCHMIDT: Your Honor, I'm going to hand the witness the live copy of what has been marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 144.

THE COURT: All right.


Q. Mrs. Spahr, I'm showing you what has been marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 144. Is that the catalogue you found in one of the boxes with the Panda books?

A. It is.

Q. Would you turn to page 29? Let me go back a second. I'm jumping ahead. I want to establish something, please. You have the catalogue in front of you, and it's on the screen, but let me ask you whether, ask you to read the title on the catalogue?

A. It says, home science catalogue, the 10th anniversary catalogue. Home training tools for strengthening home schools with practical science tools.

Q. Okay. Now turn to page 29. Is there a title on this page?

A. There is.

Q. What is the title?

A. The title is creation-science.

Q. And under that heading, do you find a reference to the book Of Pandas and People?

A. I do, in the second column.

Q. Did you eventually stamp the books and place them in the classrooms?

A. I did not.

Q. What happened to them?

A. They were taken to the library somewhere around, I believe, December.

Q. Who took that step?

A. Mr. Baksa.

Q. At some point after the October 18 meeting, did you receive a draft statement that was to be read by your science teachers in biology class?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do with that?

A. We were directed to correct it for any scientific inaccuracies so that basically what was written there would not be received inappropriately by the students that it was to be read to.

Q. Did you ask any member of the teaching staff to take on that chore?

A. Yes, I did, Jen Miller.

Q. Okay. Did you agree with the changes she proposed?

A. I am not authority in biology, and I assumed that she was professional enough to have done it, and it was submitted that way.

Q. Now at some time in November, there was a press release issued by the school district about the background, if you will, of the new curriculum. Do you recall that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Would you look at the document behind tab P-104? Have you found that?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. This is Plaintiffs' Exhibit 104. Do you recognize it?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it?

A. It is the press release for the biology curriculum.

Q. If you would look down towards the bottom of that first page, there is a paragraph just above the indented material that starts, in coordination. Do you see that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Is it an accurate statement, in your view, to say that the procedural statement that appears in this release was developed in coordination with the science department teachers?

A. No, it is not.

Q. Why not?

A. Because we had no input in this. The press release was handed to us at the close of the day after it had appeared in the newspaper.

Q. Let me ask you to think about that statement in a slightly different way. Did the teachers have a coordinating role in the development of the statement that was to be read to the students in biology class?

A. No. We amended it for scientific accuracy so that we could not be deemed insubordinate.

Q. When you became aware of that press statement, did you and the other members of the department take any action?

A. I believe there was an additional statement that was released to the news media via our association.

Q. Okay. Let me ask you to turn to tab P-106. Do you recognize that document?

A. I do.

Q. What is it?

A. This was a document that was sent to Dr. Nilsen explaining to him our unhappiness with the fact that in coordination with the science department appeared in that document which allowed the public to think that we had implementation in the document that appeared. And we did not.

Q. This document that appears as Exhibit 106 has the signatures of a number of teachers or apparent signatures of teachers in the high school?

A. That's correct.

Q. Did you sign this document?

A. I did.

Q. Did the other teachers sign it?

A. Yes, they did.

Q. Did you have a hand in preparing it?

A. Yes.

Q. It says in this document that the science department members strongly object to the description of their role in the development of the statement that appears in the press release?

A. That's correct.

Q. Why did the teachers go along with the recommendation that Of Pandas be put in as a reference book and that certain language be added to the curriculum and that a statement be read to students in particular language? Why did the teachers do that?

A. The issue about the Pandas book being served in the classrooms as a reference, we have many references from many different sources. We felt that it serving as a reference was not going to be objectionable and we were attempting to positively compromise to resolve this issue within the department.

We never compromised on that issue of putting intelligent design into our curriculum. And that was the reason that I made the statement on October the 18th, to assure the public that we were, in fact, not behind that edition.

Q. There were words that were proposed to be added to the curriculum that the teachers did accept, isn't that true?

A. That is true.

Q. Okay. Why were those editions accepted by the teachers?

A. The editions?

Q. Not including intelligent design?

A. Okay. Where we got to the end of that, we agreed that we would make the students aware of the gaps and/or flaws in Darwin's theory and other theories of evolution. And we had a period at the end of evolution. We also recommended that Of Pandas and People as the reference source be removed from the right-hand side of the curriculum.

We did agree that the part at the bottom, which was given to us, we were told from Alan Bonsell that origins of life would not be taught, we agreed to accept.

Q. Okay. Was this another of what you referred to earlier as a compromise?

A. Yes.

Q. Was this something that the teachers initiated or was the compromise a response to an initiative from someone else?

A. I believe this was something that we sent back and forth. When we received the original draft, which was somewhere in the early part of October, we looked at it, saw intelligent design in our curriculum, Of Pandas and People in the right-hand side as a reference, and immediately amended the curriculum the way we, as the science professionals, felt it should be and sent it back to Mr. Baksa to be reviewed by the curriculum committee.

Q. When you asked Jen Miller to make -- to review and, if necessary, make some proposed changes to the statement to be read to students, did you view that as a compromise?

A. My area of expertise is not biology, so I'm not sure I can answer that question. Jen Miller could answer that question as to whether she felt it was a compromise from the biology teachers.

Q. Let me ask the question in a different way.

A. Okay.

Q. Why did you ask Jen Miller to review that statement?

A. Because she is the one who is the most senior member of the biology department and the one that had the greatest knowledge in that field.

Q. Were you asked by anybody in the administration to have someone review that statement?

A. No, but it is implied, as my role as a department chair, I am a facilitator to get a job done.

Q. If Mike Baksa asked you to have someone look at that statement for scientific accuracy, did you believe you were in a position to say, no, we won't?

A. No, I was not.

Q. If Mike Baksa said, we think you ought to put the Pandas books in the classroom as reference material, were you in a position to say, no, we won't?

A. Probably not.

Q. During the entire consideration of the change to the curriculum, did anyone on the board ever articulate to you an explanation for why there had to be a change to the curriculum?

A. No.

Q. Did anybody ever explain to you why that change would improve science education in the Dover Area School District?

A. No.

MR. SCHMIDT: That's all I have on direct, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. We were going to go until 4:30, and I can't imagine -- or I would imagine you want more than 10 or 15, minutes even if we went overtime for your cross. So this might be an appropriate time to end, unless you want to start your cross for the balance of the day. What's your pleasure?

MR. GILLEN: I'd rather do it at once, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And that makes sense to me. Anything else from counsel before we adjourn for the week? All right. We will then stand in recess today. We'll pick it up with the witness's cross examination. We will reconvene on Wednesday. Our next trial day will be Wednesday, October the 12th, at 9:00 a.m. We will not sit Thursday because of the holiday next week. We will sit Friday as well for a full day on Friday. So we'll have two trial days next week, Wednesday and Friday. And you can prepare your witnesses for those days accordingly. If there's nothing else, we'll stand in recess until then. Thank you all.

(Whereupon, the proceeding adjourned at 4:20 p.m.)


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