Plaintiffs testify at afternoon session
This afternoon, three plaintiffs in our case testified regarding school board meetings they attended and their feelings about the curriculum change. Julie Smith, Christy Rehm, and Beth Eveland all took the stand.
Mrs. Rehm, who is a teacher in a public school outside of York County, testified about the impact of behaviors in the classroom.
“As a teacher, I feel teachers in general have been harmed,” she stated. “Everything you do in the classroom is teaching. How I dress is teaching. Statements I don’t make teach my students.”
“This has spilled over into other classes,” she continued. “Children of school board members say, ‘Do you think we came from monkeys? How can you think we came from monkeys?'”
Mrs. Rehm is the mother of four children, including a daughter in the ninth grade.
Earlier, Julie Smith conveyed her concerns about the impact of school events on her family’s religious life.
According to Mrs. Smith, her teenage daughter said, “Mom, evolution’s a lie. What kind of Christian are you?”
Mrs. Eveland discussed board meetings, calling them “a circus-like atmosphere.”
“I remember [Dover School Board member] Bill Buckingham saying, ‘2,000 years ago someone died on a cross. Isn’t someone going to take a stand for him?'”
Mrs. Eveland responded by sending a letter to school officials and a letter to the editor of the York Daily Record, which the paper published. When Steve Harvey, our attorney who handled direct questioning, asked her to read the letter, opposing counsel objected, calling it “hearsay.”
“Why is it hearsay?” Judge Jones asked.
After listening to the defense counsel’s point, his honor asked, “Who wrote the letter?”
In a final note, reporters from two York newspapers agreed to testify under a strict factual order from Judge Jones. Thus, opposing counsel cannot ask the reporters about their personal beliefs.
Submitted by Andy Hoover, community education organizer, ACLU of PA