NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A newly constructed high school in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools district is the first public school in the United States to embrace the Discovery Institute’s “Teach the Controversy” philosophy in its curriculum. While “Teach the Controversy” campaigners typically only challenge biology-related concepts that undermine the theory of evolution, Kirk Cameron High School’s new approach empowers teachers to teach pretty much whatever they feel like.
This past spring, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam allowed into legislature a Republican-sponsored bill that encourages teachers to challenge major scientific theories. As bill sponsor Representative Bill Dunn explains, “Evolution, climate change… these are just left-wing conspiracy theories.”
Critics originally feared that the bill might represent a flimsy excuse to teach creationism and conservative Christian dogma in the classroom. However, Kirk Cameron High School exceeded those expectations, establishing a precedent to disregard fact altogether in favor of whatever nonsense seems convenient.
Kirk Cameron High School employs unconventional educational strategies in virtually every class. History teacher Jim Sorenson has decided to “sort of just gloss over” the Holocaust, calling the genocide “kind of a huge bummer.” Instead, Sorenson has spent the past few weeks teaching his tenth-graders to carve garden gnomes, and has planned an entire unit on Guns ‘N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction.
Nowhere is the implementation of the “Teach the Controversy” philosophy more prominent than in gym class, where traditional notions of exercise, such as running, have been replaced with cigarette chain-smoking sessions and Choco Taco eating competitions.
Principal Stephen Egret denies assertions that the school’s practices have contributed to the declining mental and physical health of the student body. He dismissed the widespread incidence of asthma attacks among students as a diagnostic fad, likening it to ADHD. A student using an external voice box corroborated this opinion, revealing that he was told by the school nurse to ignore the advice of his physician and listen instead to his gym teacher.
As the student was supposedly reminded, “School is a place for education, not in-doctor-nation.”