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Libertyville Creationism Teacher Keeps Job: Suburban School District Will Not Fire Beau Schaefer (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03/23/11 01:16 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:40 PM ET

Evolution

A teacher in the Chicago suburbs will keep his job, despite violating decades of federal case law and school district policy by allegedly teaching creationism in a science class.

Beau Schaefer reportedly taught creation alongside evolution in his biology class at Libertyville High School, 35 miles north of Chicago. On Tuesday night, the school district played host to a contentious public meeting about Schaefer's fate, in which both sides spoke passionately about his actions in the classroom. (Scroll down to watch the sparks fly at the meeting.)

But in the end, Community High School District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea's recommendation likely swayed the board members to vote to retain Schaefer. “Regardless of our professional or personal opinions, in this area, there is no gray area,” Lea said prior to the meeting, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The teacher in question is a long-standing D128 instructor. We will not be recommending his termination as this is remediable behavior.”

Twenty-four years ago, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the teaching of so-called "creation science" in public schools was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, unfairly privileging one religion's beliefs as science.

Schaefer, though, is not alone: incoming School Board members in various Chicago suburbs are vocal defenders of teaching creationism in schools, despite its apparent illegality.

Watch both sides present their arguments at the meeting, courtesy of Patch.com:

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Filed by Will Guzzardi  |