Search my blog for Texas and you'll find a wealth of facts (and my opinion) about why the Texas educational system is poised on the brink of total destruction. The latest case is the obvious and ham-fisted attempt to silence real science by the forcing of Chris Comer to resign because she sent out an email letting people know about an anti-ID lecture that was coming to town.
The Texas Education Agency's Deputy Commissioner Lizzette Reynolds is the person behind this, by advocating that Ms. Comer be fired. Her email to other people in the TEA about this is clear:
This is highly inappropriate. I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities.
So Ms. Reynolds is in a position of authority in TEA, and called for Ms. Comer's termination. Got that? OK, so why, in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, did she say this?
AAS: Were you surprised she resigned?
LR: Yes, because I had asked her supervisor to look into the e-mail issue. But I wasn’t kept in the loop. I was at a meeting some time later when someone mentioned, “By the way, she (Chris Comer) is resigning today.”
She wasn't kept in the loop? She called for Ms. Comer to be fired!
Her (to be kind) prevarications continue to an absurd level.
AAS: Did you object to the content of Comer’s e-mail regarding evolution?
LR: I saw the e-mail being sent as, “Chris Comer, director of the TEA science curriculum,” and was concerned about the agency’s image. If it had been sent out on a personal e-mail account, I would have had no problem with it.
She objected to the science division of TEA supporting science. There is simply no other way to look at this (unless you spin it or lie about it). Ms. Comer sent out an email alerting people of a science lecture, and got trashed because of it.
And the money quote:
AAS: Has this episode had a chilling effect on TEA employees?
LR: I don’t think there is a muzzle on anyone.
No, an employee was forced out for sending an email supporting science. Why should that have a chilling effect?
Let's be clear: Ms. Comer was forced out of her job for sending out an email that (it is claimed) didn't represent the stance of TEA (but absolutely should represent it), yet Ms. Reynolds sent out an email wrongly saying Comer should be fired for it.
See the irony? Ms. Reynolds still has her job. And you know what? I think the wrong person resigned.
Whatever happened to personal integrity? I thought Texas built its history on such a practice.
Tip of the ten-gallon hat to PZ.