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Oklahoma Public School Takes Kids of Field Trip to Creationist Zoo

A trip to the zoo sounds like a great way for elementary school kids to learn. Yet one Oklahoma school district used the lure of animals to teach their kids about faith.

According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Shiatook public schools took the kids on many trips to a zoological garden that teaches creationist views.

The Safari Zoological Park, despite the secular-sounding name, wasn’t exactly unclear about their religious bent either.

Their mission statement even puts the name of God in all caps:

We believe that all we see and know was created by GOD ALMIGHTY. Our mission is to show the awesomeness of our God in the individual wonder and uniqueness of all His creation. That He has revealed to us through nature and creation that we are more than an evolved matter over millions of years, but made fearfully and wonderfully in His image, with an eternal son.

Once at the park, the kids were also presented with a biblical world view in addition to animals, reportedly learning about “God’s miracles, about how perfect God is, about the Great Flood.”

In a letter to the school district, FFRF clearly outlined why they thought the field trip was a violation of church and state.

Seeing animals like this can be both exciting and educational for students. But, teaching
creationism to students is neither educational, nor legal. Courts have routinely found that
creationism is religion not science, despite many new and imaginative labels given to the
alternatives. The Supreme Court struck down teaching “scientific creationism” in public schools,
Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, (1987), and its ilk in the public schools.

In addition to the creationist zoo trip, FFRF also listed other violations at the school, including school prayer and bold facing ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance used to teach five-year-olds.

The school district has not yet commented on the letter.

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Safari Zoological Park

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.