Rita Roark used to be a science teacher at Negreet High School in Negreet, Louisiana, a position she used as a platform to teach kids that the Bible is “100 percent true”, promote young Earth creationism and tell her students that evolution was an “impossible” and “stupid theory made up by stupid people who don’t want to believe in God” – “if evolution was real, it would still be happening,” Roark allegedly said: “Apes would be turning into humans today” (a variant of this, only dumber.) Nope, not a hint of understanding of evolution or science (or the Constitution). Roark would also for instance feature Christianity-related questions on her science tests.
Her practices were, though apparently typical of the area and the school, of course unconstitutional, and Roark achieved some fame when her practices were brought to light in Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board, a case filed by the ACLU on behalf of the parents of a Buddhist student. When the student, C.C., failed to fill in the expected answers on Roark’s Christianity-related “science” questions, Roark would belittle him in front of the class, and even calling Buddhism “stupid”. When C.C.’s parents objected to the practice, the Sabine Parish superintendent Sara Ebarb told them “this is the Bible Belt”, and suggested that the family either convert to Christianity or move to another school.
Needless to say, the US district court ruled quite unequivocally against the school board, even going out of its way to explain to the defendants what the ruling implies. The school board, however, refused to admit to wrongdoing. The state, too, is apparently refusing to see the problem. Meanwhile, David Klinghoffer at the Discovery Institute was kept busy trying to spin the story as far into alternate reality as he could.
Diagnosis: Dangerous fundie who, like fundies often do, hate the Constitution and should have no business being let even near a science classroom (other than as a strikingly obtuse student). But she is pretty zealous about winning souls for Jesus, and in some Louisiana schools, that is apparently precisely what the goal of education should be.