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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Trial transcript: Day 3 (September 28), PM Session, Part 2


THE COURT: Mr. Muise, you may cross-examine.

MR. MUISE: Thank you, Your Honor.



Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Rehm. Your oldest child is 14 years old. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And your child's name is Alix?

A. Yes.

Q. And Alix is presently in the ninth-grade biology class at Dover High School?

A. Yes, she is.

Q. And my understanding from your husband's testimony yesterday is that she hasn't yet reached the section in biology that deals with evolution. Is that correct?

A. Yes. After looking at her syllabus, it appears that evolution comes later in the course. I wouldn't say at the end, but closer to the end of the course.

Q. And so she hasn't heard this one-minute statement be read in the class yet?

A. She has not, no.

Q. Now, you testified about two -- or several meetings, but two meetings in particular I want to ask you some questions about. And those are the meetings that occurred on June 7th of 2004 and then the meeting on June 14th of 2004. Okay?

A. Yes.

Q. I believe you described these meetings as involving some heated exchanges between some board members and the public. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And it's my sense from your testimony that the majority of the statements that you appear to find objectionable were statements made by Mr. Buckingham?

A. No. There were statements made by many of the school board members that I found objectionable. It's just that Mr. Buckingham always seemed to say very inappropriate things.

But in addition, Alan Bonsell said very inappropriate things, and Noel Weinrich said very inappropriate things. It's just that I didn't give much credit to Noel Weinrich's comments because he would say things like, Darwin's at least what, 60 years old, a theory becomes a theory if you say it over and over again. Those are the kind of things he would say. But they were all very outspoken.

Q. Now, the controversy on the June 7th and June 14th meeting was surrounding the selection of a biology textbook. Correct?

A. June 7th and June 14th?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. And the biology textbook that was in question at the time, I believe it was the 2002 version of the Miller-Levine biology book. Is that your understanding?

A. It very well could be. I'm not sure what the edition in debate was.

Q. But the statements that you testified to and the controversy that you were describing was surrounding the purchase or selection of that particular biology book for the school district. Correct?

A. Yes, it was definitely the Miller-Levine textbook. I don't know what the edition was or the copyright date or any of that information, but I do know that it was that biology textbook that was being debated very rigorously.

Q. And, in fact, the school district purchased the 2004 Miller-Levine biology book to be used as the primary text for the ninth-grade biology class. Correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And that would be the textbook that your daughter Alix will be using?

A. Yes, with the dragonfly on it.

Q. She already has the book?

A. She has the book, yes.

Q. Have you looked through it?

A. Have I looked through the book? Yes, I have looked through the book.

Q. Do you have any objections with the book?

A. No, I don't.

Q. She wasn't given a copy of Pandas and People, was she?

A. No, she was not.

Q. So the only required textbook for that class was that biology book that was creating all the controversy on June 7th and June 14th. Is that correct?

A. To my knowledge, the only required book is that book, in addition to supplemental materials that the instructor has.

Q. Now, you made a comment in your direct testimony that intelligent design conflicts with your brand of religion.

A. Yes.

Q. Is intelligent design another brand of religion?

A. No. What I'm saying is that I believe intelligent design, as well as the ideas of creationism, in particular, the Young Earth creationists, which, I'm sorry, I don't agree with. I don't agree with the age of, you know, the earth and their opinion. There are things that I do not believe. And I do not believe the same things as the board members who adopted that statement.

Q. And so your understanding is intelligent design is the same as Young Earth creationism?

A. Well, to my understanding, intelligent design just presupposes that everything in life is too complex, that it has to be designed. But I also know that creationism was used repeatedly with the term -- or, I'm sorry, not with the term "intelligent design." Intelligent design came up after the fact.

But I do know that, in its original context, it was creationism that was being used. And when I think of creationists, again, I think of Young Earth creationists, and I do not subscribe to that way of thinking.

Q. And so, again, you're associating Young Earth creationism with intelligent design?

A. There is a connection in my mind, yes.

Q. If you could be shown that intelligent design does not require the action of a supernatural creator and, in fact, is based on observable and empirical facts, would you change your opinion?

A. I believe that if intelligent design could be proved to be scientific, then I would believe it would belong in a science classroom.

Would I believe it? I don't know that scientifically I'm qualified to say, you know, that I believe many scientific concepts because I'm -- I'm not a scientist. But I suppose that if intelligent design could follow scientific methods, then -- and it were proven to be scientific by scientists, it was accepted by scientific communities, then I would have no reason not to accept that.

Q. I want to explore your understanding of what has actually taken place in this ninth-grade biology class that your daughter Alix is presently taking. Is it your understanding that Darwin's theory of evolution will be taught in this class pursuant to the Pennsylvania academic standards?

A. I would hope so. And as far as I know, that is the case, because Dover says that it is a standards-based school, and so I assume that when they say that and they say that students have to pass certain material before they can be advanced into new material, that they would have to be abiding by the state standards.

Q. And I take it from your answer you have no objection to that?

A. To following state standards, no, I have no objection.

Q. And so it's your understanding that the Pennsylvania state standards require students to learn about Darwin's theory of evolution and eventually take a standardized test of which that theory is a part of it?

A. Yes, the PSSA test, yes.

Q. And you have no objection to that?

A. To my students taking a PSSA test, well, you know, I -- being an educator, I'm not in love with PSSA tests or standardized tests. But if you're asking me if I object to my daughter taking a standardized test with that information on it, of course not. I would hope that they would provide lots of academic information on those tests.

Q. And is it your understanding that because Dover is a standards-driven district, that they're going to focus their class time on preparing students to achieve proficiency on those standard-based assessments?

A. I'm sorry, can you repeat that?

Q. Yes. Is it your understanding that because Dover is a standard-based district, the class instruction is going to focus on preparing students to achieve proficiency on those standard-based tests that we were just describing?

A. Not only is that my understanding, but that is what I would expect.

Q. And you have no objection to that?

A. No, I don't.

Q. Is it your understanding that because Dover is a standards-driven district, that students will not be tested on the intelligent design theory?

A. As I know it and as it is written, there is no test on intelligent design.

Q. And from your previous answer, I believe you do understand that the Dover School District purchased, for its ninth-grade biology class, the 2004 edition of the Miller and Levine biology book. Correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have no objection to that book being used in the class?

A. No, I do not.

Q. Is it your understanding that this biology book provides thorough coverage of Darwin's theory of evolution?

A. Actually, did you ask me if it's my understanding or if --

Q. If it's your understanding. I mean, you have to testify about your knowledge, ma'am.

A. Okay. What I've seen of actually Darwin in the textbook, in my opinion, is actually quite slim. It follows state standards, of course. And, actually, to me, it gives more of a historical context of Darwin than anything as far as what I have read. And I did look at that section, and I looked basically through the book. And it appears to be historical mainly in context of Darwin's time frame and what he did for science.

Q. Has Dr. Miller left the courtroom?

A. Maybe we should ask. So if you're asking me if I feel it's enough or if it's -- I'm not sure what it is you're asking me about that. I feel, actually, that there are topics that probably could be explored in more detail, but I understand that there are limitations within any textbook that you have to hit on core concepts. I believe that core concepts are covered, but I think that, in my opinion, what I've looked at, it's historical context.

Q. Is it your understanding that it presents Darwin's theory of evolution in a manner that is consistent with its standing in the scientific community?

A. As much as I know about the scientific community -- and, you know, you have to remember that's not my discipline. But as much as I know about what the high school science standards say, it would be in standing with that.

As far as the scientific community, I really can't go there, because I know that there is a lot more about Darwin than is in that textbook. I mean, I can absolutely say that without knowing everything about Darwin or knowing everything about science.

Q. Do you have any reason to believe that what's in the biology book is inconsistent with what the scientific community --

A. Absolutely not, no. No, I would have no reason to believe that.

Q. Is it your understanding that the book Of Pandas and People was placed in the library for students to review?

A. Yes.

Q. It's your understanding that no student was required to read any portion of the Pandas book?

A. Right, just as no student is required to read anything that's in the library unless they choose to.

Q. You have no objection to Pandas being in the library?

A. No, absolutely not. I don't object to Pandas being in the library, just like I don't object to, you know, any of the other books being in the library, as long as -- as long as it's the appropriate level and -- you know, I mean, there is a censorship process that goes into putting books in the library. So, I mean, as long as it has gone through that process and it's approved to be there, I don't have a problem with it being there.

Q. The statement that the school district developed to be read as part of the biology class, is it your understanding that the statement that was drafted in January, 2005, or for use in January, 2005, was modified in June of 2005? Are you aware of that?

A. Can you say that again?

Q. I'm sorry, I wasn't that precise. The original statement that was drafted by the Dover School District was modified in June of 2005. Are you aware of that?

A. Well, I'm aware that that statement was modified several times. In fact, there were different drafts of that statement that I had seen. The exact modification, are you telling me that from the time that they had approved it in October, it was modified before it was read in January? Because it was again read in, I believe, like May, and there was a change from that point in time, unless I'm incorrect and that is the change that I'm thinking of.

Q. Were you aware that there was a change made to the statement at one point to indicate that Pandas was in the library, as well as additional resources in the library addressing intelligent design?

A. Yes, I am aware that there was a change.

Q. Are you aware of that change?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it your understanding that some of these additional books that were put in the library are actually critical of intelligent design?

A. Actually, I am, because I recall them -- an organization actually sending the library those books, because there was controversy in those books being put in there, too. And there were many members of the community who had called to see whether those books had actually gotten there or not, into the library, because we weren't certain that those books were going to be allowed in the library, permitted in the library.

Q. They're in the library?

A. Well, a parent -- the books that are critical to --

Q. Yes.

A. I'm assuming that they had gotten there.

Q. You never checked?

A. There were a couple instances where friends of mine had tried to check on the status of the books in the library but were not permitted to go in at that time. So I am only assuming that those books are there now because I am being told that they are. But as for myself walking into a library and seeing them there, I did not.

Q. Do you have any objection to these additional books being placed in the library?

A. No, I do not.

MR. MUISE: No further questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Any redirect?

MR. HARVEY: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Ma'am, you may step down. That will complete your testimony, and you may call your next witness.

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, plaintiffs call to the stand Plaintiff Beth Eveland.

BETH EVELAND, called as a witness, having been duly sworn or affirmed, testified as follows:

THE CLERK: State your name and spell your name for the record.

THE WITNESS: Sure. My name is Beth Eveland, B-e-t-h, E-v-e-l-a-n-d.



Q. Please state your name.

A. Beth Eveland.

Q. And where do you live, Ms. -- is it Ms. or Mrs.?

A. Mrs.

Q. Mrs. Eveland.

A. 3300 Colonial Road, Dover, Pennsylvania.

Q. And how long have you lived there?

A. I've lived there approximately eight years now.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. Do you have children?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. How many children do you have?

A. Two.

Q. And how old are they?

A. I have a seven-year-old daughter and a five-year-old daughter.

Q. And what schools do they attend?

A. They attend the Leib Elementary School in the Dover School District.

Q. And do you have plans for your children to continue to attend public schools in Dover?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And what are those plans?

A. To continue keeping them, you know, going through the Dover School District.

Q. And do you work outside the home?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And please tell us what you do.

A. I am a legal assistant.

Q. Now, did there come a time when you learned that the Dover Area School District Board of Directors was discussing or considering approval of a biology textbook?

A. Yes.

Q. And when was that?

A. It was approximately June, 2004.

Q. And do you remember how you learned that?

A. I had read an article in the York Daily Record.

Q. Now, I'd like you to look at what's been marked and is in the notebook before you as P46.

A. All right.

MR. GILLEN: Excuse me, Your Honor. I just want to make sure that this testimony, to the extent it relates to the newspaper article, is subject to our standing objection.

THE COURT: Well, what is 46?

MR. HARVEY: It's a June 9th article from the York Daily Record.

THE COURT: Well, I don't know what the question is. It may relate to your standing objection, but we'll note that. We'll hold that thought, and you can proceed with the question, because all we have is the exhibit that is a newspaper article. So let's proceed with the question. There's no need to restate your objection, unless you want to put a finer point on the objection. But at this point, proceed with your question.


Q. Did you read this article on or around June the 9th of 2004?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And following reading this article, did you attend any meeting of the Dover Area School District?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And approximately when was that?

A. Approximately the end of June through the present.

Q. What I'd like to know is if you attended a meeting after this June 9th -- excuse me, this board meeting that's reported in this article?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And what was the date of the next board meeting that you believe you attended?

A. It would have been approximately June 15th, June 16th.

Q. And can you tell us whether -- when you remember that you attended this board meeting?

A. When I remember that I attended this board meeting?

Q. Yes.

A. In preparation for trial, looking back through my deposition testimony and thinking about things that had happened, it occurred to me that, you know, I was there at that June meeting.

Q. And what is it about that June board meeting that made you remember that you were there?

A. I remember Casey Brown, one of the board members at the time, discussing, during the board meeting with the board, that she felt they were, I'm paraphrasing, treading, you know, on -- they were treading closely to violating the Pennsylvania State Board of Education regulations on religion in the classroom.

Q. And do you remember anything that was said by any board members at that meeting that you attended in June of 2004?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What do you remember?

A. I remember Bill Buckingham making the statement, 2000 years ago somebody died on the Cross, can't someone take a stand for Him.

Q. Now, what was your reaction to what you saw and heard at the board meeting on or about -- I think you said June the 15th or 16th? I think, for the record, it's established that it's June the 14th. But tell us, what was your reaction to what you heard?

A. I was shocked. I was just utterly shocked.

Q. And did you do anything in response to that?

A. Yes, I did. I had wrote a letter to the editor.

Q. And was that before or after you attended that board meeting?

A. I wrote a letter to the editor -- I believe it was actually written before I attended the board meeting, but it wasn't published until after that June 14th board meeting.

Q. And where did you send that letter to the editor, which newspaper?

A. I submitted it to the three local newspapers, York Daily Record, York Sunday News, and York Dispatch.

Q. And did you do anything, before you sent it to those papers, with the content of the letter?

A. Yes, I did. I had e-mailed a letter basically stating the same thing in my letter to the board president at the time, Alan Bonsell, a copy to Dr. Nilsen, and I mailed a copy to Mr. Buckingham.

Q. Now, please turn to what's been marked and is in the notebook before you as P56.

A. Okay.

Q. Do you have it in front of you?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And can you tell us what it is?

A. It looks to me to be a copy of a letter to the editor that I wrote.

Q. And I'm going to ask you to read this letter into the record.

A. Okay.

MR. MUISE: Objection, Your Honor. This letter is hearsay.

THE COURT: Say it again. I'm sorry.

MR. MUISE: Objection, hearsay.

THE COURT: Why is it hearsay?

MR. MUISE: She's going to be reading in the letter, the contents of the statement. It's an out-of-court statement. They're obviously offering it for the truth of the matter.

THE COURT: Who wrote the letter?

MR. MUISE: She wrote the letter.

THE COURT: Overruled.


Q. Please.

A. "As a parent in the Dover Area School District, I must convey my shock and utter dismay at William Buckingham's comments regarding the search for new biology texts for the high school. I am especially upset with Mr. Buckingham's comments as quoted in Wednesday's York Daily Record: 'This country wasn't founded on Muslim beliefs or evolution. This country was founded on Christianity, and our students should be taught as such.' This statement is in direct contradiction to the mission statement of the Dover schools.

"In partnership with family and community to educate students, we emphasize sound, basic skills and nurture the diverse needs of our students as they strive to become lifelong learners and contributing members of our global society. What a slap in the face to many of the parents and taxpayers of the Dover area. How sad that a member of our own school board would be so closed-minded and not want to carry on the mission of Dover schools.

"His ignorance will not only hold back children attending Dover area schools, but also reinforce other communities' views that Dover is a backwards, close-minded community. If it was simply a matter of selecting a text that gives two contradicting scientific theories equal time, that would be an entirely different matter, but it's not. Creationism is religion, plain and simple.

"Mr. Buckingham's comments offend me, not because they are religious in nature, but because it is my duty to teach my children about religion as I see fit, not the Dover Area School District during a biology class."

Q. Now, that letter was actually published in the paper?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. And did you see it in the paper?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And did you read any response to your letter in the paper?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And can you tell us who submitted -- whose response did you read in the paper?

A. It was a published response noting Heather Geesey as the author.

Q. And who is Heather Geesey?

A. She is a member of the Dover Area School Board.

Q. And her response letter was published in what newspaper?

A. I believe it was either the York Dispatch or the York Daily Record.

Q. And please turn to what's been marked in the notebook before you as P60.

A. Okay.

Q. Does that help you remember, looking at it, what newspaper it was published in?

A. It was published in the York Daily Record.

Q. And what is that that's marked as P60?

A. It is a letter from Heather Geesey to the editor in response to my letter.

Q. And did you see it at the time?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Please read that into the record.

MR. MUISE: Objection, Your Honor. Our standing objection, as well as she has not established a foundation that actually Heather Geesey wrote this article. She has no personal knowledge.

THE COURT: Let me first view the exhibit. Do you want to respond to the objection?

MR. HARVEY: Yes, Your Honor. We submitted an exhibit list to the other side, and we were told there were no authentication issues with respect to any of this, so there's no question about the authenticity of this, nor do I understand -- and further, it's not offered for the truth of the matter asserted, so there's no hearsay objection.

THE COURT: Well, on the authentication, let's take it in two parts. My understanding was that there was not an authentication issue. That does refresh my recollection on that point. Now, if there's not an authentication issue, we'll move on to the second --

MR. GILLEN: Actually, Mr. Muise may be at a disadvantage here. I did agree with Steve that we -- he has an affidavit from someone who has indicated they have collected newspaper articles. So with respect to that issue, there's no objection. I have agreed that she has authenticated what she did to produce this article.

THE COURT: All right. Very well. So there's no question then that this represents a letter written by Ms. Geesey to the York Daily Record. Is that correct from the defense standpoint?

MR. GILLEN: That is correct, Your Honor. That's the representation that has been made in an affidavit, and I accept it.

THE COURT: Now, counsel for the plaintiff is indicating the letter as being produced on the issue of -- or to show notice, obviously, on the effect prong. Do you want speak to that?

MR. HARVEY: Your Honor, I would also note that it's an admission of a party opponent.

THE COURT: And I think it would come in under that basis, but that would be the hearsay justification or the justification that would get around a hearsay objection. But the purpose of the letter is under the second prong. Is that correct?

MR. HARVEY: It is for that purpose, and it's also to show that Ms. Geesey talked about the statements that were made in this letter at this time. That's one of the issues in the case.

THE COURT: So it could go to truth inasmuch as it's an admission. Is that correct?

MR. HARVEY: Exactly.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. GILLEN: Your Honor, as you know, we've got the question of whether or not these are admissible for effect. Our position on that we've articulated. I don't know if you want us to argue at greater length or brief, but it's hearsay to the extent it's offered for the truth of the matter asserted as effect.

THE COURT: Well, I think that you reserved that argument. We've had that discussion. I'm inclined -- because it's a bench trial, I'll admit it conditionally. Whether I'll consider it in my ultimate determination will be a function of the argument that I'm allowing you to reserve and make.

But for the purpose of this witness, conditionally and subject to additional argument from counsel, we'll admit the letter and you may proceed.

MR. GILLEN: Thank you, Your Honor.


Q. Please read the letter.

A. "This letter is in regard to the comments made by Beth Eveland from York Township in the June 20 York Sunday News. I assure you that the Dover Area School Board is not going against its mission statement. In fact, if you read the statement, it says to educate our students so that they can be contributing members of society.

"I do not believe in teaching revisionist history. Our country was founded on Christian beliefs and principles. We are not looking for a book that is teaching students that this is a wrong thing or a right thing. It is just a fact. All we are trying to accomplish with this task is to choose a biology book that teaches the most prevalent theories.

"The definition of 'theory' is merely a speculative or an ideal circumstance. To present only one theory or to give one option would be directly contradicting our mission statement. You can teach creationism without it being Christianity. It can be presented as a higher power. That is where another part of Dover's mission statement comes into play. That part would be in partnership with family and community. You as a parent can teach your child your family's ideology."

Q. And what was your reaction to that letter when you read it in the paper, Mrs. Eveland?

A. That really concerned me.

Q. Why?

A. That made me question, first of all, was she writing on behalf of just herself or on behalf of the whole school board since it was signed Dover Area School Board Director, and I sensed a religious intonation.

Q. Now, I'd like you to tell us, did you attend board meetings in 2004 after June?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And which board meetings did you attend?

A. All of them.

Q. And do you believe that -- were you at the meeting on October the 18th of 2004?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. And did you hear the board discuss any reason for adopting the proposed curriculum change?

A. No, I didn't.

Q. Do you feel that you've been harmed by the board's actions?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And please tell us how you believe that you have been harmed by the board's actions.

A. I feel it's my duty, as a parent, to introduce any kind of faith-based concept to my children, not the Dover Area School District. While my children are small, you know, this policy is district-wide, and there's nothing to prevent it from being trickled down into the elementary level. It's just something that I feel strongly that my husband and I, that's our task to bring faith to our children.

MR. HARVEY: Thank you. No further questions.

THE COURT: All right. Cross-examine, Mr. Muise.



Q. Good afternoon, ma'am.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. You said your oldest child is seven years old?

A. Yes, she is.

Q. And what grade is she in?

A. She's a second-grader.

Q. So she's seven years out from attending the ninth-grade biology class at Dover High School?

A. That's correct.

Q. Now, you have an interest in science. Is that correct?

A. Somewhat, yeah.

Q. I believe in your deposition you indicated in your day-to-day events you try to spark your children's interest in science?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And you believe it's important to make science interesting for your children?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. You don't have any specific training in evolutionary theory. Correct?

A. No, I don't.

Q. I want to get a sense for what your understanding is of what is going on in the ninth-grade biology class that your daughter will be attending several years from now.

Is it your understanding that Darwin's theory of evolution is going to be taught pursuant to the state academic standards?

A. It is my understanding, yes.

Q. And that students will be tested on subjects that are based on those standards, including the theory of evolution?

A. Yes, that is my understanding.

Q. And it's your understanding that the students will not be tested on the theory of intelligent design?

A. That is also my understanding, yes.

Q. Is it also your understanding that it is a standards-based district, so classroom instruction will focus on achieving those standard-based assessments in which they will eventually be tested on?

A. Yes.

Q. And intelligent design is not part of those standard-based assessments?

A. As far as my understanding, yes, it is currently not.

Q. And these board meetings that you attended in June, the controversy was surrounding the purchase of a biology text for the class. Correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know which book it was that the controversy was about?

A. I believe at the time it was the 2002 Miller and Levine biology text.

Q. And isn't it true it was Mr. Buckingham's objections to that biology text which precipitated some of these statements that you were referring to in your direct testimony?

A. That's correct.

Q. And what action did the board actually take with regard to the biology book?

A. Well, with regard to the 2002 biology book?

Q. With regard to the biology book for the ninth-grade class.

A. It's my understanding that they held off on the vote in June because there was a new edition that was going to come out. And they wanted to get the most current book instead of wasting money on an older book.

Q. And so they ended up purchasing the 2004 version?

A. Yes, they did. Yes, they did.

Q. Have you seen that book?

A. I have briefly looked at it.

Q. Now, my understanding is you went to these board meetings in June because of the controversy over the biology book?

A. Yeah, part of it.

Q. You said you just skimmed this biology book that was at the center of the controversy?

A. It was available on the table where the board was sitting, and I went up front and took a look at it for maybe a minute or two.

Q. In those two minutes that you spent actually looking at the book that was the center of this controversy, was there anything in that two-minute review that you saw that you objected to?

A. No. I just basically looked through the table of contents quickly.

Q. Is it your understanding that that book that was eventually purchased by the Dover Area School District covers the theory of evolution consistent with its status in the scientific community?

A. That's my understanding, yes.

Q. Now, these meetings that you attended, would you describe them as being fairly contentious?

A. Fairly contentious, yes.

Q. Shouting matches, I believe the term you used in your --

A. I think a circus-like atmosphere would be quite appropriate.

Q. Now, is it your recollection that the first time the Pandas book was mentioned was during the July meeting that you attended?

A. I remember it being mentioned. I cannot give you a specific date. The dates run together after a while.

Q. How about mentioning the theory of intelligent design, do you recall when you may have heard that theory first mentioned?

A. To the best of my recollection, it was first mentioned June, July sometime. At the time it seemed that creationism and intelligent design were kind of used hand-in-hand interchangeably.

Q. During these public comments that precipitated some of those statements that you were referring to, was it your impression that Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Noel Weinrich were taking the comments as being personally directed toward them?

A. Not only them, but the vast majority of board members, yes, they were.

Q. So they saw them as being personal attacks against them?

A. Yeah.

Q. Now, the first meeting you attended in July, you spoke with Joe Maldonado. Correct?

A. Yes. And I believe the first -- as I testified earlier, the first meeting I actually had attended was the second meeting in June.

Q. I guess my question is, the first meeting that you attended in July --

A. Yes, I had spoken to Joe Maldonado.

Q. And who is Joe Maldonado?

A. It's my understanding he is a reporter with the York Dispatch.

Q. And during this conversation, he approached you and asked if you had read or were familiar with some comments that he had quoted in the paper, and those were Mr. Buckingham's comments. Correct?

A. Yes, he had.

Q. And he asked you what your thoughts were about those comments?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. And he also asked you if you would ask for Mr. Buckingham's resignation on the spot. Correct?

A. That's correct.

Q. And you told him that you didn't think that was going to happen?

A. I told him that I would just sit back and wait and see what happened.

Q. And your sense for why he asked you this was that you thought he was trying to elicit something sensational for his paper?

A. There is that possibility of trying to elicit something sensational, but I think he was also trying to prepare for what might happen later on in the meeting since they tended to denigrate in shouting matches.

MR. MUISE: May I approach this witness, Your Honor?

THE COURT: You may.


Q. Ma'am, I'm handing you what is your deposition testimony that you gave on March 28th of 2005. And I'd like you to read, if you look on Page 64, read from Line 18 through 25, and then we'll continue on the next page once you finish that.

A. "The first board meeting I attended in July he approached me before the meeting started and asked if I had read the -- if I was familiar with the comments that were quoted in the paper. I told him just simply what I had read.

"He asked me what I thought about it, and I said, The comments, I don't feel that is appropriate. He asked me if I asked for Mr. Buckingham's resignation on the spot. I told him I didn't think that that was going to happen."

Q. And the next line, Line 3, is a question which states, "When Mr. Maldonado asked you that question, do you have a sense for why?" Could you plead read your answer, which is Lines 5 through 8.

A. "Yeah. Based on what was quoted in the paper, yeah, I think he was trying to elicit some sensational whatever for the paper. It was my first board meeting. I just wanted to sit back and see what would happen."

Q. Were you testifying truthfully during that deposition?

A. Yes, I was, to the best of my knowledge.

Q. You've had additional discussions with Mr. Maldonado about the happenings with the board. Correct?

A. Yeah.

Q. And you also had conversations with Ms. Heidi Bubb?

A. Yes.

Q. And she's a reporter?

A. Yes.

Q. For which paper?

A. She's a reporter for the Dispatch. I said earlier Mr. Maldonado was for the Dispatch. I believe he is actually a reporter for the Daily Record.

Q. I believe you testified in your deposition that after the complaint was filed, you actually spoke with Ms. Heidi Bubb quite a bit?

A. Yes, at the board meetings. Well, I don't recall whether or not I did say after suit was filed, but I'll take your word for it if it's in my deposition testimony.

Q. I'm sorry, ma'am, could you --

A. I said, I don't recall whether or not I did say that I had spoken with her after suit was filed. I mean, if that's what it says in my deposition testimony, that's what I testified to at the time.

Q. Let's go to Page 68 of your deposition transcript, ma'am.

A. Okay.

Q. On Line 16, the question was asked, "Can you recall generally when you spoke with her?" And in reference of the -- if you look above, it's referring to Ms. Heidi Bubb. Can you read what your answer was on Lines 17 through 21?

A. "She would generally approach me after the meetings. Especially after the complaint was filed, I spoke with her a lot. She would ask me occasionally my thoughts, public comment, what I thought -- why I thought the board was doing what they were doing, those such things."

Q. Now, back in July or August, 2004, you had communications with the National Center for Science Education?

A. Yes.

Q. I believe you joined the Listserv?

A. Yes.

Q. And you also had a discussion with them regarding an interview with the AP?

A. It was a brief e-mail exchange, but yes.

Q. Did you do that interview?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Ma'am, do you understand that the statement that's going to be read to the students in the ninth-grade biology class was modified in June of 2005?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And do you understand that that modification indicated that the book Of Pandas and People would be in the library along with other resources regarding intelligent design?

A. Yes.

Q. And is it your understanding that those other resources included books that are actually critical of intelligent design?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any objection to that?

A. No, I don't.

Q. Now, you testified about the harm that you've received based on these statements and the comments and the actions of the board. I'd like you to go to your deposition transcript, if you could, to Page 101.

A. Okay.

Q. If you'd read from Line 16, which presents the question, until Line 2 of the next page.

A. "Question: Is there anything else that the board has done here in connection with the curriculum change that provides a basis for your complaint?

"Answer: From what I can see from attending the board meetings, I don't know, because so much of the curriculum debate takes place at non-public meetings that I am not aware of. And when board members are questioned at meetings, they really don't answer any questions. So it gives this whole illusion of secrecy to the process, which, you know, may be a big part of the problem. It may just be a big misunderstanding."

Q. Were you testifying truthfully when you answered that question?

A. Yes, I was.

MR. MUISE: No further questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Redirect?

MR. HARVEY: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. Then, ma'am, we thank you. You may step down. This is probably an appropriate time for us to end today. We will do so by admitting the exhibits that we need to, if we need to.

P46 is the York Daily Record article. I assume we're going to withhold admitting that pending further proceedings. Is that right, Mr. Harvey?

MR. HARVEY: Yes. We'll move it in after another witness, Your Honor.

THE COURT: P56 is the witness's letter to the editor. Are you moving for the admission of P56?

MR. HARVEY: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Now, you've stated an objection to that. The objection is noted. You don't have to restate it. And I will note the objection. Do you have any additional objections you want to make to that?

MR. GILLEN: Not at this time, Your Honor. That's it.

THE COURT: All right. It's admitted subject to the defendants' objection. P60 is the letter from School Board Member Geesey to the editor again. I think I noted that it was admitted. Over the objection already of the defendants, we'll reaffirm that, but you can make any other objections you want to on the record, but I think that was thoroughly argued at that time.

MR. MUISE: That's correct, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. We will reconvene a little later tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., because of some matters that I must attend to, and the session will go longer. With everybody's indulgence, I would expect to go to approximately 5 o'clock, no later than 5 o'clock tomorrow to make up for the time that we lose during the morning session. So we will stand in recess until 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. We thank you all.

(Whereupon, the proceedings were adjourned at 4:20 p.m.)


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