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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Trial transcript: Day 2 (September 27), PM Session, Part 1


THE COURT: All right. We'll continue then with this witness on direct.

(Whereupon, ARALENE CALLAHAN, resumed the witness stand.)



Q. Mrs. Callahan, did you attend a meeting of the Dover Area School District Board of Directors on or about October the 4th, 2004?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. I'd like you to take a look at what has been marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit 78 in the binder before you. Have you had a chance to look at it?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you tell me what it is?

A. It's the planning meeting agenda for Monday, October 4th.

Q. And can you please tell me whether there's anything on the agenda for the meeting about a change to the biology curriculum?

A. No.

Q. Is there anything there under curriculum at all?

A. Yes, there is an FYI from Dr. Nilsen.

Q. Are you looking at page 1 of the page that has the base number 135?

A. Yes.

Q. Please tell us what it says there about, under curriculum?

A. It says, the superintendent has approved the donation of two classroom sets, 25 each, Of Pandas and People. The classroom sets will be used as references and will be made available to all students.

Q. Now I'd like to ask whether you attended the meeting of the board on October the 18th, 2004?

A. Yes.

Q. And why did you attend that meeting?

A. Because I was concerned about the curriculum change that I knew was supposed to happen on October 18th, not for anything that was on the planning meeting, but because Mike Baksa had given me a sheet of paper with potential curriculum changes on it because I was a member of the district curriculum committee. And that was a few days before the October 18th meeting.

Q. Please take a look at what's been marked and is in your notebook as Plaintiff's Exhibit 87. Do you have that in front of you?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it?

A. That's the agenda for the board meeting of October 18th, 2004.

Q. Now please tell us what's listed on that agenda under curriculum?

A. Under the heading of curriculum is the addendum.

Q. What does it say?

A. It says, to approve changes to the biology I, grade 9 planned course curriculum guide for the 2004-2005 school year. In the background information, copies of the changes have been sent to the district curriculum advisory council and the science department.

Q. Was this curriculum change on the planning meeting agenda?

A. No, and that's why it's in bold print and it's an addendum item, to indicate it was not part of the planning meeting.

Q. Was this a concern to you at the time?

A. Yes.

Q. Why?

A. Because -- I mean, I really thought it was always an important practice to have items brought up at a planning meeting so there would be enough time for the faculty and community members to respond to anything that was going to be changed. And, I mean, this was even bigger because there certainly had been a lot of attention to it.

There were a lot of people who had a tremendous amount of problems with -- well, what end up happening and what was happening in the district at the time.

Q. Now there's a reference there to the district curriculum advisory council. Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you know what that is?

A. Yes, that's a committee that's made up of board members, administrators, faculty, and community members.

Q. And were you on that committee at that time?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you on that as a board member or as a parent?

A. As a parent.

Q. And did you receive a copy of the changes as referred to in the curriculum -- excuse me, the agenda?

A. Yes, a few days before the meeting.

Q. How did you receive that?

A. I don't remember if they were mailed to me or if Mike Baksa handed them to me at some point.

Q. Was a meeting held of that committee?

A. No.

Q. Did you respond in any way to receiving that proposed curriculum change?

A. Yes. It was verbal, but I said to Mike Baksa, I am formally making a request that this change be turned over to the district curriculum committee because it's the district curriculum committee that reviews changes in curriculum and gives it approval for those changes.

Q. Did you speak at the meeting on October 18th?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you remember what you said, and please tell us?

A. I know I spoke about urging, strongly urging the board to return this change, potential change to the district curriculum committee so it could be reviewed. And also, I thought it was important to give the public time to respond to it, like I had said before. I also -- I know I read a paragraph from the book Of Pandas and People, and I asked the board at that time if the paragraph that I read was still accurate.

And the reason I wanted to know that was because that particular paragraph that I read had been footnoted from 1977 and -- 1977 is pretty old in a science book, and I wanted to make the point that virtually all the footnotes seemed to be 20 or 30 years old. And I think anybody who's familiar with science realizes that when you publish a science book, you run the risk of the day it's out, that it's going to be outdated.

And the thought of -- I mean, that was just one example that I wanted to drive home to the school board, that you couldn't possibly consider this a valid science reference book when you had so many footnotes that were 20 and 30 years old. I then -- I had with me many comments from scientists regarding the book Of Pandas and People, and I went down and I read just a few of them.

But I did inform them there were certainly many more, and I could go on and on, that I had not found any scientist who considered this worthy of being called a scientific reference book. I might have said some other things, but I don't remember.

Q. Do you remember if you said anything about you being on the district curriculum committee?

A. Yes, because that's, you know, part of the reason that I was on the district curriculum committee, and I was urging it because I knew the practices of the district curriculum committee, and changes that happened within the district concerning curriculum went through that committee.

Q. What did you tell the board about that on October the 18th?

A. That I thought they were bypassing a step that had been past practice, and I really felt like it was starting to look like they were just railroading this through the district, and they actually didn't want any input from any scientists or science -- scientists or any of the science teachers or even any of the community members at that point.

Q. Do you remember anything else you said at that meeting?

A. No. I might have said something else. I don't remember.

Q. Do you remember what else happened at the meeting?

A. I know. Also during public comment, there were quite a number of community members who stood up and spoke. They spoke about the legal issues. They spoke about their concerns for the science behind the book Of Pandas and People and also this curriculum change. There were maybe a dozen people who spoke, all of them very, very concerned about this book being introduced and this curriculum change. And I do believe there was one person who did speak in favor of it.

Q. Do you recall any discussion among the board members about their reason for making the curriculum change?

A. No, because people did ask about that. I mean, I know there was one person -- there could have even been several people who asked about the scientific method behind intelligent design, and there was no answer to that. There were never -- most of the questions or the concerns that anybody brought up were really not responded to by the board.

Q. Do you remember board member Heather Geesey saying anything at that meeting?

A. I do remember Heather Geesey saying that they should be fired.

Q. And what was your understanding at the time of what she was talking about?

A. That she thought the teachers should be fired if they didn't follow the direction of the board.

Q. Now do you remember there was some voting at the meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember the outcome of that?

A. That's the vote was made to make the change in the curriculum.

Q. Did you attend the meeting of, the next meeting of the board which, I believe, was on November the 1st?

A. Yes.

Q. Why did you attend that meeting?

A. In between that October 18th meeting and the November 1st meeting -- excuse me. I asked if I could listen to the tapes of the October 18th meeting. And I was told only board members were permitted to listen to those tapes.

So, again, I addressed the board in public comment saying I was concerned that I was not given the opportunity to listen to this tape. I thought that they were a public record that should be accessible to people in the public, and I believed that it was a violation of the freedom of information law.

Q. And did anyone -- you said that at the board meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. And you said that you had made a request prior to the board meeting --

A. Yes.

Q. -- to listen to the tape. Who did you make that request to?

A. I believe I talked to Karen Holtzapple.

Q. Who's Karen Karen Holtzapple?

A. She's the secretary to the business manager.

Q. What was the policy about listening to tapes when you were a member of the board?

A. I know my experience had been with the tapes that we were open about people in the public listening to those tapes. I had been with people when they had listened to the tapes. I mean, one person I remember in particular.

Q. Do you know whether the board had a policy about retaining tapes when you were a member of the board?

A. I know certainly at the beginning -- when I was first on the board, I mean the tapes were destroyed shortly after the minutes were taken. And then there was a discussion at one of the board meetings -- this was several years ago -- where board members were saying, you know, why can't we keep these tapes maybe six months to a year?

I don't remember if the board took a vote about that. But I was left with the impression that the tapes were going to be kept six months to a year. The problem before has always been that there's not a lot of space in the district office, so that space was a consideration. But I certainly walked away from that meeting thinking those tapes are going to be kept six months to a year.

Q. Do you remember at the board meeting on November the 1st whether Alan Bonsell said anything about the tapes or tape of the October 18th meeting?

A. I do remember Alan Bonsell saying something to the effect, well, of course, we would destroy the tapes. We might be involved in a legal matter.

Q. Do you remember anything else that was said on that meeting of November the 1st, 2004?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember Noel Weinrich saying anything?

A. Not that I can -- I mean, that might have been the meeting that he got really upset and left the meeting because he was -- that might have been the meeting that he got really, really angry and because apparently Bill Buckingham had said something about his patriotism and his religious faith, and it had something to do with, you know, his religion is between his God and himself.

Q. Please turn to Exhibit, Plaintiff's Exhibit 669. Do you have that in front of you?

A. I do.

Q. Have you seen it before?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it?

A. It's an article by Joseph Maldonado from the York Daily Record dated November 2nd, 2004.

Q. Did you read it on or about that time?

A. Yes.

Q. Now I'd like you to look at that and tell us whether -- read it first, please. And when you're done reading it, just put it down for a second, and then tell us if it helps you remember anything else that happened at that meeting.

A. Yes, I do remember a few more things after seeing this.

Q. Please tell us what you remember.

A. I do remember Casey Brown making the suggestion that certainly this would be appropriate in a world religion class. I don't remember exactly what she said. Or something like that. And I remember Larry Schnook asking who had donated the books. I also remembered something else that I now forgot.

Q. You can look at it again.

A. I'm sorry. Oh, Brian Rehm also asked about listening to the tapes.

Q. Now if you would please turn from that exhibit to what has been marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit 127. Do you have that in front of you?

A. Yes.

Q. What is that?

A. That's the district newsletter that was sent to the households in Dover.

Q. Did you receive a copy of that?

A. Yes.

Q. How did you receive that?

A. In the mail.

Q. Now Mrs. Callahan, I just want to ask you a couple other questions. Do you believe the actions of the Dover Area School District Board of Directors have caused you harm?

A. Yes.

Q. How?

A. I think in several ways. First was that my daughter, in 9th grade, did not have a biology textbook to take home because there were board members looking for textbooks that included Darwinism or included creationism.

Secondly, I had seen an e-mail from a professor in Texas that warned that, if Dover continued on this path of including intelligent design in their biology curriculum, he would have a hard time considering Dover students into his program, which made me think, okay, if that's in Texas, what about some of the very competitive schools in our area? What would they consider? You know, would students about to graduate have a more difficult time getting accepted in those colleges?

Another area that I think it is extremely harmful to all the students, I mean, not just my daughter, but all the students who are attending the high school. I think it's clearly an attempt to change the definition of science. One, by introducing intelligent design, saying that is a scientific theory, but also by demeaning, if you will, the theory of evolution.

When you introduce -- so there's students that will be graduating from Dover not having a clear understanding of what science really is. And then when you introduce intelligent design into the biology curriculum, it says, okay, it's so complex at this point, it's an intelligent designer.

Well, that really stops a student from thinking more about that subject. I mean, I think it's really absurd to think that a school district could hinder a student's natural curiosity into researching an area further.

And then the area also that's important is intelligent design is clearly religious. It's not my religion. I am very upset about the idea of a public school trying to influence my daughter's religious beliefs. And that probably is the most harmful.

MR. HARVEY: I have no further questions.

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, Mr. Harvey. Mr. Gillen, cross-examine.

MR. GILLEN: Thank you, Your Honor.



Q. Good afternoon, Mrs. Callahan.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. Pat Gillen. We met at your deposition.

A. Yes.

Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions today. Mrs. Callahan, you've testified that you had attended a board retreat for Dover Area School District in January of 2002, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. But you don't remember anything from that particular board retreat?

A. I can't remember anything specifically about that board retreat.

Q. You attended a board retreat in March, March 26th, 2003, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. These retreats were not deliberations made -- well, they weren't for the purpose of deliberating on district policy, is that correct?

A. That's correct.

Q. No votes were taken?

A. I'm sorry. I'm having trouble hearing you. I'm sorry.

Q. That's quite all right. No votes were taken?

A. Right.

Q. They were not official meetings of the school board?

A. No.

Q. Now you've testified that there was a portion of that board retreat on March 26th, 2003, where Richard Nilsen invited comments from the Board members?

A. Yes.

Q. And he solicited issues that might be of interest to the Board members, correct?

A. I'm sorry.

Q. He solicited input from the Board members about issues that might be of interest to them, is that correct?

A. Yes, the board members knew to bring their issues or concerns to that board retreat.

Q. And that go-around session took about two minutes, correct?

A. Possibly. I remember that the administrators were each given three minutes. They took a little longer.

Q. All right. But the go-around session from the board members was about two minutes?

A. Probably.

Q. Okay. I believe you've testified in deposition that you don't recall any comments that were made concerning the issues raised by Alan Bonsell at that March 26th, 2003, retreat?

A. No, I do remember comments Alan Bonsell made at the March 26th, 2003, meeting.

Q. Yes. Forgive me if my question was not precise. You don't remember other board members discussing the issues he raised?

A. No.

Q. I believe you've also testified that you don't remember any discussions that you had with Alan Bonsell about creationism in 2003?

A. Correct.

Q. You don't remember any mention of creationism at public meetings in 2003?

A. Correct.

Q. You don't recall Alan Bonsell doing anything to implement any desire to have creationism taught during 2003?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. I think you've testified that you have a Bachelor's of Science?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Now if I'm correct, you were not re-elected in 2003, correct?

A. Correct.

Q. Is it true that several persons who ran for office in 2003 are currently on the Board?

A. I think so.

Q. Okay. Now you've testified that the purchase of the biology textbook was not approved in 2003, correct?

A. The approval to purchase the book was not in 2003, is that what you said?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. And you said that you made a motion for the purchase of the biology textbook?

A. All of those textbooks in August of 2003.

Q. Well said. You say that that motion died for lack of a second?

A. Yes.

Q. At the time you made that motion, Casey Brown was on the Board, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And Jeff Brown was on the board, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And Angie Yingling was on the Board, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. They did not second your motion?

A. No one seconded the motion that I recalled. I don't recall any vote being taken. My memory is, it just died for lack of second.

Q. That's fine. Do you recall expressions of fiscal concerns surrounding the purchase of textbooks in 2003?

A. No.

Q. Do you recall -- can you say there were none?

A. I can't say that there were none. I know that I don't recall any conversation about that because, subsequent to that time, I believe it was Dr. Nilsen, and I believe it was $50,000.00 was the amount that was allocated for the purchase of those books was set, put in a separate fund, so that if the books weren't approved in that current fiscal year, at least the money that had already been approved could be used in a subsequent year, and that might help not -- that might help the curriculum cycle from not getting really messed up.

Q. Okay. So money was put aside, escrowed, I believe is the term you used in your deposition?

A. Okay, thank you.

Q. For the purchase of biology books?

A. Yeah, and chemistry and the family consumer sciences.

Q. Do you recall a discussion that the books being used for the instruction of biology in 2003 weren't current?

A. I don't remember a discussion. I mean, I don't remember a discussion about it, no.

Q. Okay. You've testified that the books didn't match the curriculum, correct?

A. That's what was my understanding, that the books -- that there had been a curriculum change because of standards, and I think maybe what was now being taught in the middle school, it changed to the high school, that it didn't match the curriculum was my understanding as to why, at least in part, why the science department was recommending a more current science book. And it's been repeated and repeated and repeated. It's always good to have a more current science book.

Q. And the change in standards that were reference is the change in the Pennsylvania academic standards?

A. I believe so.

Q. Now you've testified that you attended the first board meeting in June of 2004, correct?

A. The June 7th meeting?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. And at that time, you asked why the text had not been purchased?

A. Why they weren't on the agenda when the chemistry books and the family consumer science books were on the agenda to be approved at the next meeting.

Q. Okay. And I believe you testified you recall some comments by Bill Buckingham?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you recall any comments by Sheila Harkin?

A. No.

Q. Any comments by Jane Cleaver?

A. No.

Q. Any comments by Angie Yingling?

A. No.

Q. I believe you testified that you didn't attend a second board meeting in June, you were out of town?

A. Yes.

Q. And you came back in August, correct?

A. Right before school started, when that was.

Q. Okay. And by that time, the textbook had been purchased, correct?

A. Yes, it's my understanding that the textbook had been purchased at that time.

Q. Now you've testified that you informed the Dover Area School District School Board that your research had not uncovered any credible science -- scientist who were willing to vouch for intelligent design theory, is that correct?

A. Well, I didn't exactly do research, but I had not seen any credible scientists who had confirmed that Pandas and People book.

Q. Good enough. So when you made that statement to the Board, it was based on your personal reading, correct?

A. My personal reading and also information that had been sent to me. I mean, it was primarily from information that had been sent to me. I don't recall reading anything on my own about the critiques Of Pandas and People.

Q. Okay. And I think you've testified, you had the sense that the Board ignored you?

A. Excuse me?

Q. You had the sense that the Board ignored you, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever ask them why they might be doing that?

A. No.

Q. Do you recall commenting that the Board had spent public money on legal fees in connection with the curriculum issue?

A. Yes, I may have mentioned that it was my understanding that they had already spent $900.00 looking into this, and because it was my thought at that time, $900.00 can be a significant amount of money when you're cuttings things from the budget.

Q. You said that you were on the district curriculum advisory committee in 2004?

A. Yes.

Q. And you received communications from Mike Baksa regarding the contemplated curriculum change?

A. Yes.

Q. Based on your personal reading, you've testified that you do not believe that intelligent design theory is a scientific theory, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever ask other board members about whatever reading they did?

A. I know at one of the Board members -- board meetings, I did distribute at least the first part -- it was a copy of the first part of the National Geographic article that came out about a year ago, and it had the definition of theory in it. I did distribute that to all board members because I was thinking, you know, maybe the problem was that the school board members just really didn't understand the scientific definition of the word theory.

And also at one of those meetings, now that you're asking me, I'm remembering that I had a copy of an article from the -- a New York Times Sunday magazine. I think it was the Genesis Project was the name of that article. And it talked about all -- a lot of the scientific discovery behind origins of life. I mean, I can go a little bit into that, if you would like, what they were referring to. If you'd like me to, I can.

Q. No, that's all right. That's fine. I know that you did some reading and you brought some reading to the attention of the Board. That's fine. Do you object to the book of Pandas being in the library?

A. No.

Q. If I'm correct, no child of yours has actually attended a biology class at which the statement was read, is that correct?

A. That's correct.

Q. I believe you've testified that you don't recall Mr. Buckingham making any statement that this country wasn't founded on Muslim beliefs or evolution?

A. I know I don't recall him saying anything about the Muslim beliefs part.

Q. There's been at least one occasion in which you personally have called a reporter and asked for a retraction, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Mrs. Callahan, it's your belief, based on what you know, that intelligent design is religion, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you still have your book of exhibits in front of you?

A. The ones that --

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. Mrs. Callahan, I ask you to look at Exhibit 679, which was shown to you earlier today. Would you look that over, please? If you look at that article, Mrs. Callahan, you'll see that it attributes a statement to Bill Buckingham which says, board members are still fine tuning matters, including any potential legal issues that might arise from using Pandas in the classroom. Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you looked at that?

A. Pardon me?

Q. Have you looked at that? Do you remember Mr. Buckingham saying that at that -- on or about September 8th, 2004?

A. I do recall him saying something about fine tuning.

Q. Do you recall him saying anything about consulting legal counsel?

A. No.

Q. But you can't say he didn't say that?

A. Oh, no, I can't say he didn't say that.

MR. GILLEN: I have no further questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. Thank you, Mr. Gillen. Mr. Harvey, any redirect?

MR. HARVEY: No redirect, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. Ma'am, thank you. You may step down. And let's take the exhibits that we have for this witness.

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, P-641.

THE COURT: All right. 641 is the exhibit that had to do with the retreat information, I guess, with the inner lineations in her handwriting, is that correct?

MR. HARVEY: With the exception of the handwriting, Your Honor -- oh, yes, that's correct. Yes, we move that entire exhibit into evident.

THE COURT: Any objection?

MR. GILLEN: No objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. 641 is admitted. P-42, I have next, is the June 7th, 2004, planning meeting agenda. Are you moving for the admission of P-42?

MR. HARVEY: We are moving for the admission of that, Your Honor.

MR. GILLEN: I object, Your Honor. There are handwritten notations which have no foundation.

THE COURT: All right. Let's look at 42.

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, we're not moving for admission on the handwritten notation, just the exhibit on --

THE COURT: Now wait.

MR. HARVEY: We're not moving for admission of the handwriting, just the exhibit itself.

THE COURT: Well, isn't the handwriting on the exhibit?

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, it is -- the handwriting is on the exhibits. It wasn't this witness's handwriting. And so I did not authenticate it or ask her to look at it.

THE COURT: Well, that's the problem, unless you want to redact it.

MR. HARVEY: I'm perfectly willing to redact it.

MR. GILLEN: From my part, Your Honor, I believe that we have in evidence between us a clean copy of the official document, which is the planning meeting agenda for June 7th, 2004. I have no objection to admission of that document without handwritten notations.

THE COURT: All right. Well, somehow you're going to have to redact 42 so that it becomes a clean copy. We'll call it P-42. So it will come in as P-42 without the handwriting. So that's admitted. All right now. P-44, P-46, and P-679 respectively are the June 8th, June 9th, and September 8th, 2004, records -- I'm sorry, articles from the York newspapers. Now I don't know if you want to move them in.

MR. HARVEY: We do want to move them in.

THE COURT: You're doomed to fail if you do at this point.

MR. HARVEY: Actually, we don't intend to move them in for the truth of the matter asserted right now. We intend to move them in. This witness testified she read them, so we would move them in, not for the truth of the matter asserted, but we do reserve the right to move them in for that purpose later in the proceeding.

MR. GILLEN: No legitimate purpose has been given for admission of the exhibit.

THE COURT: No, I won't admit them at this point. I won't deny you the opportunity to go back and do it. I see no purpose of admitting them, particularly in a bench trial, at this point. So I will not admit those. They were properly used to refresh her recollection. Talk to co-counsel.

MR. HARVEY: I actually don't need to talk to co-counsel. We're not -- she testified that she --

THE COURT: Are you sure?

MR. HARVEY: I'm quite sure. She testified that she read these at the time. One of the issues in this case is the harm that's been sustained by these Plaintiffs. That goes to her knowledge of what happened. She read them. And it's all part of background knowledge, and that's why I say we're not offering them for the truth of the matter asserted. There's going to be other witnesses who are going to testify.

THE COURT: I understand that. But what Mr. Gillen is obviously doing is, he's protecting the record because there is an issue as to the truth of the matter asserted in the articles, and how do you unring the bell on the articles?

MR. HARVEY: Well, the Court has seen -- the finder of fact has seen the articles because we referred to them in the testimony. In other words, there's no way to unring the bell necessarily, but --

THE COURT: That's my job.

MR. HARVEY: That's your job, exactly. They're not being offered for the truth of the matter asserted.

THE COURT: You can unring this bell. I don't know how else we do it. Mr. Gillen, what did you want to say?

MR. GILLEN: The law observes a distinction between what's shown and what's admitted.

THE COURT: I have to agree with Mr. Gillen as to that. I'll revisit the articles. You know, I gave you latitude in allowing you to have her refer to them. If you have a better argument than that, I'll hear it.

MR. HARVEY: I have only one other argument, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I was going to say, if you don't want to assert it now, I'll hear it later.

MR. HARVEY: I think I'll let you know. That is that, we're offering them for the effect on the community. One of the issues in this case is endorsement of religion, and these were published to the Dover community, and there will be testimony that they were seen by others. And I think they are relevant for that purpose. Again, that's not a hearsay purpose.

THE COURT: Well, as we know, there remains an issue as to whether or not you're going to be able to have testimony by the reporters who you've called as fact witnesses. I think the testimony of those reporters could allow the articles to be admissible under the residual exception in Rule 807. We're not there yet.

So rather than chew this up at this point, that's why I say, I'm not going to admit them on the effect prong under Lemon at this point, but I'll -- we'll revisit that if and when that's what you're left with. Now you may not be left with that, depending on what you get. Based on what I'm hearing, I don't know. I want to talk to counsel at the break about that issue. But that's another issue altogether. All right.

So we'll not admit them at this time, but without prejudice to reassert that argument. I'll rely on you to to reassert the argument unless and until you have some other mechanism to get them in under 807. All right. That leaves then P-668, which is the notes and statement, which I assume you're not moving that in.

MR. HARVEY: I am not moving that into evidence.

THE COURT: All right. P-78 is the October 4, 2004, planning meeting agenda. Any objection to that?

MR. GILLEN: If you'll forgive me, Your Honor. Let me take a look at it.

THE COURT: Likewise, P-87, you can check that, is the October 18th, 2004, board meeting agenda.

MR. GILLEN: Your Honor, we have no objection to the admission of P-78.

THE COURT: How about 87 then?

MR. GILLEN: Your Honor, we have no objection to P-87.

THE COURT: All right. P-78 and P-87 are admitted. Finally, I have, subject to Mr. Harvey, if I didn't get everything, I have P-669, which is likewise the article. I would intend to rule the same way.

MR. HARVEY: Understood.

THE COURT: As to the York Daily Record, November 2, 2004, article that makes up P-669. Again, without prejudice, we'll not admit it at this time, but we'll allow counsel to argue that point later.

MR. HARVEY: Understood, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. HARVEY: I don't believe we addressed P-127, which I used with Ms. Kitzmiller.

THE COURT: P-127 is?

MR. HARVEY: That's a copy of a newsletter that was sent.

THE COURT: Well, actually you put it up, my recollection is.

MR. HARVEY: I'm sorry. It came in through Mr. Miller. Never mind.

THE COURT: Like wise, I don't recall you asked a question. You put it up, and I don't think you ask a question anyway. Well, it's in, I think.


THE COURT: All right. Anything further, Mr. Harvey?

MR. HARVEY: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. GILLEN: Your Honor, just for your information, I understand the reporters have appeared for the depositions but refused to comply.

THE COURT: Well, we'll take that up. I want to talk to you at the break at that because I want to clarify exactly what the circumstances are, unless you feel that we need to -- are they assembled and waiting for something now?

MR. GILLEN: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Have they adjourned?

MR. GILLEN: The deposition has been adjourned due to the witnesses' failure to comply.

THE COURT: We'll take it up at the break then. Mr. Harvey.

MR. HARVEY: The Plaintiffs call our next witness, Plaintiff Bryan Rehm.

THE COURT: All right.



having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

COURTROOM DEPUTY: Spell your name for the record.

THE WITNESS: Bryan Rehm. B-R-Y-A-N. R-E-H-M.

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, may I approach the witness with a binder of exhibits?

THE COURT: You may.



Q. Mr. Rehm, please tell us where you live?

A. 3690 Rock Creek Drive in Dover Township, Pennsylvania, 17315.

Q. How long have you lived in Dover?

A. I moved in, I believe it was, in August of 2001.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you have any children?

A. Four.

Q. Please tell us the ages and names of your children?

A. Alex is 14. Paige is 8. Ian is 7. And Lucas is 15 months as of last Thursday.

Q. Are any of these children -- do any of these children attend school in the Dover Area School District?

A. Two of them are in the Dover Area School District. A third one is charged under the Dover Area School District but is handicapped and is in a special class for that.

Q. Tell us what grades they're in, please?

A. First, third, and ninth.

Q. The child that's in 9th grade is at Dover Area -- Dover High School?

A. Yes.

Q. And is that child taking biology class right now?

A. She currently has biology class, yes.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes.

Q. What's your wife's name?

A. My wife's name is Christy.

Q. What does she do?

A. She is an English teacher.

Q. What is your job?

A. I am a physics teacher.

Q. Where do you teach physics?

A. In a school outside of York County.

Q. What's the name of it?

A. Is that necessary at this point?

Q. It's not necessary.

A. Okay.

Q. Can you please tell us your education? Where did you graduate from high school?

A. I graduated from high school in 1994 from Central Dauphin East High. It's a suburb of Harrisburg.

Q. Did you attend college?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Where did you go to college?

A. I did my undergraduate work at Lebanon Valley College in Anville, Pennsylvania. I've taken graduate work in a number of different places, including what used to be Western Maryland College. It's now McDaniel. Penn State York and Penn State Main Campus.

Q. And were you ever a teacher at Dover High School?

A. Yes, I taught there for two school years.

Q. What two school years were though?

A. I believe it was the 2002-2003 school year and the 2003-2004 school year.

Q. And what did you teach?

A. I taught science. My main responsibility I was hired for was physics. And in addition to physics, they put a physical science court course in my schedule and a course at the time that was titled science technology in society, which is an environmental and ecology course.

Q. When you were at Dover High School, who was your supervisor?

A. My supervisor as far as department goes was Bertha Spahr. She sort of maintained the department. But I would directly be supervised by the building principal, who was Trudy Peterman at the time.

Q. I want you to think back now to the 2002-2003 school year and tell me whether you remember any conversations with Bertha Spahr about a board concern about the biology curriculum?

A. Yes, there was many occasionss on which we had such conversations. There was more than myself and Bertha Spahr present. It was common practice that we had a lunch period together, and she was my mentor, so to speak, so I would eat lunch in her room along with Rob Eshbach on most days and sometimes another teacher who has since left the district.

We'd talk about things going on in the classroom, things going on in the district, etc., and quite frequently concerns of board members and the biology curriculum would come up. In addition, Mr. Baksa would frequently stop by because he would relay the information to us.

Q. Tell us what you can recall about those -- can you recall any specific conversation?

A. As far as date and time, not exactly. The context of them, it always centered around biology. And initially, I just didn't think much about it. I was eating lunch, and I was there for guidance, if I was messing anything up. But generally, I'm trying to get done and thinking about the next class coming up.

Those things that came up were biology, biology, biology, and when pinned down for, what about biology, well, the evolution unit needs to be balanced.

Q. Did Mr. Baksa in those conversations tell you about a board concern about the biology curriculum?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. What did he say?

A. The concern was that biology, the evolution unit needed to be balanced. And at some point in time, unfortunately I can't say if it was Mr. Baksa that told me or Bertha Spahr, it was the 50/50 with creationism concern.

Q. Did they mention any particular board members having that concern?

A. At that point in time, initially I did not know who the Board member was, just that it was the school board members, and it was actually pluralized at that point in time. It did not indicate a single member but several members.

Q. Did there come a time when you were told that there was any particular board members?

A. Much later on, it came out to that. At that point in time, I was told it was Alan Bonsell.

Q. Now do you remember having a meeting with Mr. Bonsell to discuss his concerns about the biology curriculum?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Can you tell us approximately when was that meeting?

A. It was in the morning. As far as much closer than that, I don't recall. My planning period is in the morning, and it was during my planning period. A lot of science department, with except for maybe one teacher, had common planning time together, and that's when they scheduled the meeting for. It was, I'm guessing, in the spring of '03.

Q. Okay. You say you're guessing. Do you have any reasonable approximation of when this was?

A. Unfortunately, no.

Q. This was certainly while you were a teacher at Dover Area?

A. Yes, yes, otherwise I wouldn't have been invited to the meeting. I would have had no business there.

Q. Tell us who you can recall at the meeting?

A. For certain, it was myself, obviously. Bertha Spahr was there. Jennifer Miller, Rob Linker, Robert Eshbach, Trudy Peterman, Alan Bonsell from the school board. Mike Baksa was there to introduce us. And there others, I think, were there, but I'm not certain, so I will not mention them at this time.

Q. Just to get a little clarity on time. What was your -- when did you leave your job at Dover High School?

A. I left Dover High School, I believe my resume shows official, June 21st, 2004.

Q. And we're going to take in just a couple minutes of a board meeting on June the 7th, 2004. Do you recall that board meeting?

A. Yes.

Q. Was this meeting that you're discussing now with Mr. Bonsell and the others, was this prior to June the 7th?

A. Yes, definitely.

Q. Was it months prior to that?

A. At least.

Q. How was the meeting arranged?

A. The meeting was arranged by Mr. Baksa. He had been relaying information to the science teachers, primarily Bertha Spahr's the department chair, during these lunch conversations where he'd stop in. And we repeatedly explained to him, we're not going to do this.

We're not going to balance evolution with creationism. It's an inappropriate request. It's inappropriate. There's no educational purpose for it. It's not a good decision. And we would lay out as many reasons as we could and send them back with Mr. Baksa to relay to the school board members or Alan Bonsell.

And, you know, the next day or two days later, Baksa is back in lunch again with the same questions and the same concerns. And we explained this to you already. So after numerous times, I mean weeks of this, he said, well, how about if we just get you together with him? And then somehow through Mr. Baksa and Dr. Peterman, the meeting was arranged.

Q. Who was Dr. Peterman?

A. Dr. Peterman was the high school principal. And the meeting ended up being held in her office, which was in the old principal's office before the construction project.

Q. Can you remember what Mr. Bonsell said at that meeting?

A. The general context of it started with, that he was concerned about biology because he felt that we weren't fulfilling the district's mission statement, and that the district's mission statement was along the lines of that, the parents and teachers and faculty and administration work together to nurture the kids and to whatever beneficial things for the community, and they're supposed to be working together.

And he felt that because of evolution, that we weren't doing that, that kids were going to come into the evolution lesson, and they're going to go home and sit down at the dinner table with their parents, and they're going to talk about what they learned in class that day, and the parents are going to have to tell it the kids, well, your teachers are lying to you.

And when pressed for why that was, he explained to us, well, that is because he doesn't believe in evolution, because that's against his religious views, which were consistent with what I would label young earth creationism.

Q. Did he mention anything in that conversation about the age of the earth?

A. He mentioned something that the earth is closer to 6000 years old.

Q. During that conversation, do you recall him using the word creationism?

A. I remember the term creationism and Alan Bonsell's name being stuck together. And unfortunately, I can't specifically place it at that meeting or if I heard it previously from Mike Baksa at the lunch conversations.

Q. Now what did the teachers -- do you recall what the teachers said in response to Mr. Bonsell?

A. The teachers had gone in unified because we knew that they wanted to change the biology curriculum. They had asked that the science teachers do it, to put creationism ideas into it. And we had basically reached a uniform decision that it's inappropriate and we're going to stick together.

But at the same time, we're teachers and we need to be professional and we need to be civil going into this conversation. So our objective was to gather as much data as possible, because we're science teachers and that's the way we try to do things, and see where that would lead us to. The concerns that were expressed from Alan Bonsell were dealing primarily with the ideas of macro evolution, and he expressed concerning about monkeys to man.

And once we got that and figured out what his concerns were, we took the approach of, let's educate Mr. Bonsell as to what the biology evolution unit actually covers, which we don't teach monkey to man. It's not an essential part of what we need to do to get the students ready for the state standards test.

So we took that information. We acknowledged his concern. We understood why he was concerned because nobody wants to have to go home and hear that their children are learning contradictory things. And we certainly don't want parents telling the kids the teachers are lying. That's not our job. That not our objective. And that's not our intent by any stretch of the imagination.

From there, we proceeded to explain to him how we would basically teach the general evolution unit, what's taught, what are the purposes of it, what's the content of it, explaining that we're focusing on the micro evolution processes. Yes, addressing it with natural selection. But these are the things that the kids are going to need. That's going to be covered on the test for the state exams.

That's what they're going to need if they choose to go to college and want to major in anything dealing with medicine or any of the future technology and careers that ideally we're preparing our students to be qualified for.

Q. You used two terms, macro evolution and micro evolution?

A. Uh-huh.

Q. And I don't want to get a science course, but I do want to get just your, tell us if you would, what you meant by those terms, macro evolution and micro evolution?

A. Macro evolution is generally applied where you're seeing large changes in the types of organisms. For example, in the analogy of monkey to man, or more correctly, the pre-ancestors of both monkeys and man, to those separate species would be considered macro evolution. There is very large changes in the physiology and the, possibly, the body structures, things of that nature.

Whereas micro evolution is what we typically look at as the change over time. You're looking at small changes. For example, diseases become resistant to bacteria but still being the same basic disease. The reason why we have different variations of tuberculosis and why we have different variations of the AIDS virus and those types of things.

Also dealing with pesticides and resistance to pesticides. That would be the micro evolution where you still have a grasshopper, but now because of the influence, in this case human influence with the pesticide, the pesticide will no longer kill the grasshopper. You now have to change pesticides to find another way of eradicating it.

Q. Was there any resolution from this meeting between the teachers and Mr. Bonsell?

A. As I left the meeting, I recalled no resolution. It was getting on this and taking the majority of the planning period. And the teacher's schedule, you're concerned about your planning period. It's very important to you. It's the only time you really have where you can focus on getting things done that you can't do when students are in the room; grading papers, updating grades, making phone calls to parents, things of that nature, writing your lesson plans to submit. And I don't recall any resolution whatsoever. I was in a rush to get back and get my work done.

Q. Do you recall, after this meeting with Bonsell, being asked to watch a video about evolution?

A. Yes.

Q. Who asked you to watch that video?

A. As far as I can remember, the request came through Michael Baksa stating that the school board wanted us to watch it.

Q. Did they say what the name of the video was?

A. Initially, I did not know the name of the video. I did not know the name of the video until we sat down and watched it.

Q. What was the name of the video?

A. The name of the video was Icons of Evolution.

Q. And who watched it with you?

A. The majority of the science department. Myself, Rob Eshbach, Jen Miller. I believe Bertha Spahr was there. Leslie Praul. Rob Linker. And I don't know if if anybody else was or not.

Q. Let's go back for just a second. When you had the meeting with Mr. Bonsell, did he have any position on the Board or did you have an understanding at the time that he had a position on the Board?

A. My understanding at the time was that he was part of the curriculum committee. In fact, I believe I was told he was the curriculum committee chair, which is why we were having the meeting with him dealing with curriculum issues.

Q. Now let's go to where we just were. Following this occasion on which you were asked to watch a videotape, were you asked to meet with anybody with regard to that videotape?

A. I don't understand your question.

Q. Did anyone ask you, after you watched the videotape, to have a meeting with any board member?

A. There was a request, not of me specifically, but of the science department, that we should be meeting with school board members. The video, as I recall, was watched late in the school year. And we sat down as a department and watched, and we were discussing amongst ourselves, and Mike Baksa came back in at that point in time.

He was basically, well, what did you think? Once again, well, how about if you communicate that directly to the board members? And there was some type of meeting set up.

Q. And do you know, did he say who that meeting would be with?

A. The meeting, as I understand, ended up being with Bill Buckingham, but I don't know if he said at that point in time to meet with Bill Buckingham or if he just simply said a school board member.

Q. Did you attend that meeting?

A. I could not attend that meeting.

Q. Why not?

A. My wife was pregnant at the time, and I was getting out of school as quickly as possible to get home. She was eight months pregnant or so. The baby was due the 10th of June. It ended up coming out on the 23rd. This was late in the school year, and I was more concerned about my family than I was the Icons of Evolution video.

Q. Now this occasion on which you watched the video, was this prior to the June 7th, 2004, board meeting?

A. I'm suspecting that it was. June 7th was getting very late in the school year. But I cannot place those dates specifically sequentially.

Q. Did you attend a board meeting on June the 7th of 2004?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you attend any other board meetings in June of 2004?

A. I attended the second June meeting as well which, I think, was on the 14th.

Q. Why did you attend those meetings?

A. The June 7th meeting was at the urging of Dr. Peterman. Periodically, when there's something going on with the school board that the teachers would be concerned of, she'd let us know. She'd walk into the lunchroom and find us or let us know by some other means.

In this particular case, she explained to us that there is a concern over textbooks that hadn't been ordered, that should have been ordered, and it would be a good idea if the faculty showed support and solidarity and as many as possible could attend the meeting for that reason.

Q. Do you remember why you attended the June 14th meeting?

A. The June 14th meeting, I attended for probably a similar reason, but also as a follow-up to the June 7th meeting. Since there weren't all the answers given on June 7th meeting, June 14th was a follow-up meeting. It made sense to follow-up and see how it finished out.

Q. Can you separate those two meetings in your mind so that -- let me finish my question here -- so that you can remember what happened at one meeting versus happened at the other one?

A. Not very well, not without any type of refreshing.

Q. Just tell us, if you can, without respect to which meeting it was, tell us what you can remember that happened at either of those meetings?

A. I walked in. I was a little bit late to one of them. And I sat near the back. At that point in time, they ran the Board meetings. They still had the tables set up from the lunches, because they hold the Board meetings in the 5th and 6th grade elementary building. And I sat at a table. If I'm at the front of the Board room, it would be to the Board's left near the back.

I sat down with other science teachers and was sort of asking, all right, what did I miss so far? The first thing I can remember concretely where I started to pay attention to the front of the room was when Barrie Callahan was asking during public comment about the biology textbooks, why weren't they ordered, and what's going on here.

Q. Do you remember specifically what she said?

A. At this point in time, it's not coming back to me.

Q. Do you remember what was said to her in response?

A. I can't specifically say it's the 7th meeting, but when asked that question, the response from Bill Buckingham was, laced with Darwinism. In fact, actually now I can pin that down. I apologize for the sidebar here. That had to be at the June 7th meeting. Between June 7th and June 14th was graduation that year.

And the senior speech made mention of that comment, so it had already filtered down to the student population at that point in time or else it wouldn't have been there.

Q. Do you remember anything else about an exchange between Barrie Callahan and the Board?

A. At this point in time, nothing is coming to me.

Q. Do you remember a student by the name of -- a young man by the name of Max Pell?

A. Yes.

Q. Who's Max Pell?

A. Max Pell was a student I actually had the previous year in my physics class and had graduated and gone on to school. And I actually had a brief conversation with him at some point that night. How are you doing, Max? Good to see you. How's school going? Those types of things. It's always nice to see your former students.

Q. Do you remember whether that was the June 7th or 14th meeting?

A. Without a refresher, I don't recall.

Q. Do you remember what -- do you remember Max speaking to the Board?

A. Yeah. At some point, I am suspecting it was after Barrie's question about the textbooks and then the relaying statement of laced with Darwinism, he got relatively concerned and stood up, and showing Max's mannerisms and nervousness, he stood up and was questioning them about why? Why are you considering this? How can you say that?

Q. Tell us what you can remember about the exchange between Max Pell and the Board?

A. Aside from the concerns of, why are you doing this, this is inappropriate, and I think you're taking a risk here, Mr. Buckingham had responded. I couldn't say specifically what. Off the top of my head, I don't recall. But that's the first where I really saw the school board meetings sort of going downhill and degrading into not very positive discussions.

Q. Do you remember anyone saying at either meeting something about balancing evolution with creationism?

A. I remember that comment, and I can't say which meeting, but that comment had come up after the laced with Darwinism. I can also remember conversations, and I don't know once again if it was the June meetings or the next meetings in October, when Alan Bonsell was talking about, well, if you teach both sides, it doesn't matter. There's no problem. You just can't favor one.

Q. Did he say what he meant by both sides?

A. Creationism, and the only other theory was evolution.

Q. Do you remember anyone at either of these meetings saying something about 2000 years ago?

A. Bill Buckingham, and I don't remember which meeting, but, yeah, I heard it. It's one of those things that I couldn't believe. It's not something you should be saying running a public school.

Q. What did he say?

A. 2000 years ago, somebody died on a cross. Can't somebody stand up and take a stand for him? That's paraphrasing. I don't know if that's his exact words, but it's close enough, and it's what he meant.

Q. Do you remember anyone at either meeting saying something about this country being founded on Christianity?

A. I remember hearing that also from Bill Buckingham, but I couldn't tell you which meeting. And I couldn't tell you if that -- was that said in October? Aside from hearing it, I can't place it, which one. And I know that I definitely heard it from Bill Buckingham.

Q. Do you remember a woman named Charlotte Buckingham speaking at one of these meetings?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us, what was your understanding at the time of who Charlotte Buckingham was?

A. Initially, I didn't know until she stood up. And at the board meeting, when you are going to speak in public comment, you have to state your name and where you live, much as we do at the introductory here. And that's when I heard her for the first time.

Q. Did you have an understanding who she was?

A. At that point in time, yeah, I realized she was Bill Buckingham's wife. And I'm not positive, but I think she may have even said that or there was an exchange between, you know, other board members, nice to see you, Mrs. Buckingham, and things of that nature.

Q. Do you remember what she said at that meeting?

A. She had a prepared statement. She was flipping pages. I don't know how many, but it was more than one. And it was basically how Darwinism is a problem. We need to look to the Bible. And she quoted many, many, many Old Testament scriptures about why we need to be referencing God in the classroom.

Q. Now I'd like -- do you remember anything else that was said at either of those meetings, either by board members or members of the public?

A. Bertha Spahr had stood up requesting, once again, the considerations for the textbooks. Once again, I'm having trouble if this was the June meeting or the October meeting. She stood up more than once at different meetings. I later stood up at different meetings as well. And as far as pinning down dates, unfortunately, I can't. It all sort of blends together.

Q. Do you remember speaking at either of these meetings yourself, speaking in public to the Board at either of these meetings?

A. At a meeting, yes. I've spoken at at least four meetings, and they would have started in June probably. I don't believe I waited until the October meeting to begin speaking.

Q. Do you remember what you said?

A. I was concerned about the comments, in particular dealing with laced with Darwinism and the references to needing to balance out evolution. There was a communication, as I was hearing it, from the school board that the two ideas, you know, were in conflict and you had to resolve them and that it was a scientific debate. I'm a science teacher. I've taken many courses in it. And there should be no debate as far as scientific evidence goes. Science looks at the science. Your religion is your religion. It's perfectly fine.

Q. Mr. Rehm, I just want you to tell me if you can remember what you said?

A. Those are what I was saying. Those are the ideas I was communicating to the board.

Q. Excuse me. Please go ahead.

A. Just, you know, there does not need to be a conflict and you're taking a risk by doing this.

Q. Now can you remember anything else that was said either by board members or members of the public at this meeting or anyone else at this meeting or at either of these meetings in June of 2004?

A. Off the top of my head, nothing is coming to me. Dr. Peterman stood up and spoke on behalf of the book request, I believe, as well. There was discussions of the family consumer science book. And I believe Mrs. Harkins was questioning, why are we getting this book because it's so similar to the one we already have?

And then there's the explanation, well, there's not enough of the same edition. And then there's similar discussions about chemistry books and biology books.

Q. Now I'd like you -- I'd like you to look at what has been marked as P-46.

A. Okay.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at that exhibit?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us what it is.

A. It's a newspaper article, I believe, from the York Daily Record, dated June 9th, written by Joseph Maldonado.

Q. Have you read it before today?

A. Yes, I was shown this article a few days ago. And also, I would have read this article, but not from here, in the actual newspaper when it was originally published.

Q. Do you recall reading it at the time?

A. Yes. We were paying attention to what the school board was doing and making sure we were checking the papers every day because, unfortunately, it was turning into a zoo, and we were concerned about the reflection of that in the media.

Q. Now did you just read this just now?

A. Yes.

Q. Does it help you remember anything else that happened at the -- at either of these board meetings?

A. It gives clarity to the things I was remembering as far as positioning on the date of the 7th and the 14th. Some of the things in here that were said that I had forgotten, specific quotes. That's what I remember reading. And there was no discrepancy between what I read then and what I heard the night or two nights before.

Q. Sitting here right now, after having looked at that, can you remember anything else that was said?

A. Am I allowed to look at it again?

Q. You can look at it again?



Q. You just can't read it in.

THE COURT: Yeah, just don't read or excerpt it directly. You can use it to refresh your recollection.

THE WITNESS: What I had already stated about Alan Bonsell commenting on, there's only two theories, creationism and evolution. Bill Buckingham additionally saying, dealing with the laced with Darwinism comments. We need a book that gives balance to the education. These are all the quotes I heard that night that I read the next day and had no question about, that's what was that said, that's what we heard. The brain washing comment directed at Max Pell.


Q. Tell me what you remember about the brain washing?

A. I remember hearing it.

THE COURT: Hold on, sir.

MR. GILLEN: Again, maybe I can, at the break, we can get a little more clarification. I understand if he wants to refresh his recollection, but it seems that he's adding and he's reading the quotes as if he's testifying to the truth of the quotes. That's not proper.

THE COURT: Yeah, the distinction may seem a little artificial, but what you have to do is read the article and then respond to it rather than use it as sort of a punch list as you go through. I think you've answered the question at this point. But to the extent there are other questions, when you have to refresh your recollection by looking at the article, just respond directly to him, and don't refer to what you're reading in the article, if you would.


THE COURT: There is a reason for that.

THE WITNESS: Please fix me if I step out of line.

THE COURT: I will.


Q. Do you remember anything at that meeting being said about brain washing?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us what you remember about that?

A. Bill Buckingham said to Max Pell, did you ever hear of brainwashing, something to that effect. When you are told something enough times, it becomes fact. And he mentioned that dealing with, it's what's not in the paper, he was talking about liberal colleges and people going to these levels of higher institution where they are being brainwashed, such as Penn State.

Q. Now I want you to think about, do you remember anyone at either of these meetings saying something about liberals in black robes?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us what you remember?

A. Sticks in my mind, once again, that's something Bill Buckingham said, but I can't be certain. One of these meetings, I did have the pleasure of sitting in front of Alan Bonsell's father who talks during the meeting, and basically said the same thing, these liberals in black robes are taking away freedoms, and we need to stand up and take them back.

Q. Did -- do you recall anyone saying anything about the separation of church and state?

A. One of these meetings, it was mentioned once again that it was a myth, and I heard that on more than one occasion at the school board meetings.

Q. Was there any reference to tracing your roots to monkeys at either of these meetings?

A. I remember hearing it and, unfortunately, I can't tell you once again which meeting it was.

Q. Well, do you remember what you heard?

A. Yeah, you're not going to tell me that I came from apes, and if you insist on it, which side of your family came from apes?

Q. Do you remember Mr. Buckingham saying something about having talked through a think tank?

A. At one of the meetings, yes. He was questioned, well, who is this think tank, and he wouldn't give any information. And at some meeting again, once again I don't know if it was June or October, he mentioned about how the textbook that was requested by the teachers received an F from a think tank, and then would give no further information on it whatsoever.

Q. Do you remember anything else that happened at either of those meetings?

A. I don't know once again if this is June or if this is October, but it was brought up about, you're walking into dangerous ground, violation of separation of church and state, which somebody, either Alan or may have even been Noel or Bill at this point, was reminding us, well, separation of church and state is a myth, and said that even if the district was sued, he's been in contact with a group that will defend the district for free. Also, when asked, he would not say who that was.

Q. Following these June meetings, did you attend any other meetings of the board that summer?

A. I did not attend anymore meetings during the summer.

Q. Why not?

A. Had other things to do.

Q. And did you attend a board meeting on or about October the 18th of 2004?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Why did you attend that meeting?

A. I had been talking to people in the community. Getting around to school year starting up. So that is when a lot of thing started to happen again. And I would run into some members of community when we were out eating dinner, so forth. How are things going? What's going on? How are things at the school? And I heard rumblings of, well, the school board is doing this creationism thing again, and you need to pay attention to it.

Q. Do you remember running into Mr. -- excuse me, Dr. Nilsen shortly before that meeting?

A. That's what I was getting to, yes. I believe it was a Thursday night. I'm not positive. But my daughter at Weiglestown Elementary School in the district, where they were having a book fair. And my wife and I took her and our other children to the book fair to get some books.

And the PTO that night was also sponsoring some type of parents' information thing in the gymnasium, so they had -- which is their all-purpose room, they call it -- a series of tables lining the parameter and there's different vendors there. There's the bank, the food bank, and things of this to help parents do a better job with limited resources.

And Dr. Nilsen happened to pop his head in the door when I was there. And I took the opportunity that, hey, I'm going to go over and talk to him. And I walked over to Dr. Nilsen and said, what's going on? I hear there's going to be some big thing going on at the Board meeting. He said, I don't know what you're talking about.

I said, well, it's dealing with, once again, the science curriculum. He said, oh, nothing will ever happen. There will never be a vote. You don't need to worry about it. I've been in the district long enough to know that, you don't assume things won't happen that you don't want to have happen.

Q. Who's Dr. Nilsen?

A. Dr. Nilsen is the district superintendent, Dr. Richard Nilsen.

Q. And that conversation you had with Mr. Nilsen, where was that in relation in time to the October 18th?

A. That was prior to the October 18th meeting. And his response there -- within four or five days. His response there is why I made it a point to attend the October 18th meeting.

Q. Tell us what you recall of the October 18th meeting?

A. The October 18th meeting, once again, there's a public comment period. It was getting rather heated from which I can recall. It went on very long. Public comment period lasted for a very long period of time. At this point in time, my wife had the baby, so he was about three months old, and we didn't have a baby-sitter for the baby. So the oldest child, we let watch the other two, the reasonable age ones. We took the infant with us and went to the meeting and were sitting there.

So the meeting had gone very long because of this public comment period, very heated discussions over what the proposed curriculum changes were and why it was necessary and still about textbooks and things of that nature. I remember discussions about the curriculum. There was proposals. I remember Baksa standing up and reading proposals.

I remember the comments that the teachers had helped write the proposals. I can remember heated discussion amongst the Board members about the proposals. In particular, Alan and Bill were favoring changing it to include statements of intelligent design. I believe there's even one proposal, and I don't remember if I saw this in text previously or if I saw it that night, putting creationism in it. Then the proposal just, you know, evidence against evolution -- or evidence contradicting evolution.

Noel Weinrich, who had been previously to this meeting endorsing everything that Bill was proposing, discussing the textbook, and how we had to find balance, had changed his position and thought that it was not a wise move to put intelligent design or creationism in the curriculum change, and had words from Bill Buckingham and Alan Bonsell about him reversing his position.

Q. Do you recall what was said, just generally?

A. In general, it was basically, how can you do this? How can you reverse your stance on this? This is why we're doing this. You were with this all along. I can't believe you would do this. What are you thinking? That was the general sentiment that was expressed.

Q. Did you stay for the whole board meeting?

A. We did not. My wife and I, we were both in attendance, and as I said, it went very long. They called a recess. It sticks in my mind, it was around 9, 9:30. It may have been later than that. We had run out of formula for the baby. It was way past his bedtime. And we just couldn't stay any longer, so we had to leave.

Q. During the time that you were at the board meeting, did you hear the Board members discussing the reasons why they were proposing a curriculum change?

A. Once again, I don't know if it was at that meeting or it was a previous meeting, but the only reason that was given at that point in time was, we needed balance in the curriculum between, once again, evolution and either intelligent design or creationism.

Q. Now as you left the meeting, did you speak to anyone?

A. When they call the recess and I saw it was going to take a while, I took advantage of the opportunity, because I knew I was going to leave and not get a chance to speak at the later public comment section. They had been generally having two public comment sessions, one at the very beginning and one at the very end.

And the school board, when the meeting is over, if I'm facing the school board table now, they would exit the cafeteria to the right-hand side and go down the hallway to where the North Salem faculty room happens to be, and that's typically whether they would adjourn to. And I guess that's where they have their executive sessions. I decided to follow them out into the hall. This is my chance. I'm going to get to talk to them. And I intended to. So that's had an I did.

Q. Which board members did you speak to?

A. I made a point, as I was leaving, to speak to Alan Bonsell. Sheila Harkins spoke to me. And I just lost my -- Angie Yingling was speaking to somebody else. I sort of walked alongside her to listen to the conversation and then I chimed into it.

Q. Tell us what you can remember about your conversation or your exchange of communications with Mr. Bonsell?

A. Mr. Bonsell was the last conversation I had. And I basically confronted him and said, why are you doing this? Why are you pushing this? We had that meeting, you know. We explained to you why it's inappropriate. You communicated to us that it's based upon your religious views. And that's not an issue of science. We don't address religious views in science.

Basically, he just kept saying to me, well, it's gaps and problems, gaps and problems. I said, what gaps and problems? He said, they're so big, I can drive a truck through them. And he couldn't give me any real examples of what that was.

Q. And did you also have an exchange of communications with Angie Yingling?

A. Yes. She was having a conversation, I don't recall with who. It was another female. And her conversation was, I don't understand why these people are so upset and why there's so much opposition to this curriculum change. What's it about? And I don't see how it's really religious. I said, well, excuse me, I do understand why. And let me explain it to you.

And I enlightened her to what Discovery Institute was and what intelligent design was, what it said, what the history of creation science was, and the emergence of intelligent design after creation science was struck down by the Edwards versus Aguillarad case. Upon my finishing my conversation with her, she said, oh, that is a problem.

Q. Now following that board meeting on October the 18th of 2004, did you attend the next board meeting?

A. Beginning of November, that would have been, yes.

Q. It was -- it was the November 1st meeting?

A. Probably.

THE COURT: This might be -- if you have a number of questions in this area, we could break at this point. I'm assuming you do.

MR. HARVEY: I do have a few more questions.

THE COURT: All right. What we're going to do is, counsel, take five minutes, and I'll see you in chambers on a matter that Mr. Gillen raised. We'll do that in about five minutes. This could be a somewhat extended break. We'll take at least a 20-minute break. It may ripen into 30 minutes, depending on what we do. We'll break now. Our last session will be rather an abbreviated one. We'll go to 4:30 approximately, give or take, today. I'll see you in chambers in about five minutes much. We'll be this recess.

(Whereupon, a recess was taken at 3:10 p.m. and proceedings reconvened at 3:20 p.m. in chambers.)


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