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Agreement Ends Textbook Sticker Case

December 19, 2006

The Cobb County Board of Education has reached an agreement with plaintiffs to end a lawsuit over stickers addressing evolution that were placed in science textbooks. After more than four years the agreement brings to conclusion the legal action taken against the school district by Cobb citizen Jeffrey Selman in 2002.

In January 2005, Judge Clarence Cooper ruled the stickers unconstitutional and ordered them removed from the science textbooks. The stickers were removed later that summer. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court vacated Judge Cooper’s decision and remanded the case to the lower court.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement and end the lawsuit,” said Cobb County Board of Education Chair Dr. Teresa Plenge. “After the 11th Circuit Court vacated the decision, we faced the distraction and expense of starting all over with more legal actions and another trial. With this agreement, it is done, and we now have a clean slate going into the New Year.”

Under the agreement, the District will not attempt to place the same, or similar, stickers in textbooks again. In return, plaintiffs have agreed to end all legal action against the school district. In a separate agreement, the District has agreed to pay $166,659, which represents a portion of the plaintiff’s legal fees.

“Appealing the lower court ruling was the right decision by the school board because that ruling was incorrect,” said Dr. Plenge. “The Board maintains that the stickers were constitutional, but, at the same time, the Board clearly sees the need to put this divisive issue behind us. There will be no stickers in textbooks, and, as always, we will continue to provide Cobb County students a curriculum that follows national and state standards in teaching science and the theory of evolution.”

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