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Democracy in action

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A rogue school board majority can sometimes forget how representative government works.

Darby reminded its board after last Tuesday’s election, and ousted, 2 to 1, the majority that sought to pass the controversial objective origins policy.

Pro-Intelligent Design board members were looking for an anti-evolutionary test case, but election results show that the district’s citizens are happy with the current science curriculum, and displeased with the prospect of expensive lawsuits.

The election was also one of the district’s largest, attracting 50 percent of registered voters.

“We’d like to remain in the 21st century,” said current board member Mary Lovejoy, who was not up for re-election. “We had good voter turnout because people believe in the Constitution, and the majority of the people in this community have an understanding of what science is, and how it should be taught.”

The election effectively ended the board’s bid for an objective origins policy, which was facing a second reading before incorporation into the district’s curriculum. Darby still faces a lawsuit over a series of closed meetings related to the hiring of a district superintendent, and Lovejoy said that turning over the intact minutes of those meetings is “the right thing to do.”

According to District Clerk Caroline Rennaker, the two candidates opposed to objective origins received almost twice as many votes as the pro camp. Winners included incumbent Bob Wetzsteon, who received 757 votes, and challenger Erik Abrahamsen, who garnered 737 votes. Incumbent Chair Gina Schallenberger received 352 votes and challenger Robert House mustered 351 votes.

Abrahamsen still wants to see a second reading of the objective origins policy so it can be “voted out.”

“It’s like everybody had a cloud over their head, and now it’s been lifted,” Abrahamsen said. “District voters have spoken loud and clear.”

One of the first tasks facing Abrahamsen is the hiring of a new superintendent; the last one resigned this spring over differences with the pro-objective origins camp.

“We just need to get the community back together,” Abrahamsen said. “Then we can take problems as they come, instead of creating them.”

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