Pre-Enlightenment nation

I’m guessing this high-school is a feeder for Regent U:

T-shirts worn by the Smith-Cotton High School band have evolved into controversy among parents.

The shirts, which were designed to promote the band’s fall program, are light gray and feature an image of a monkey progressing through stages and eventually emerging as a man. Each figure holds a brass instrument. Several instruments decorate the background and the words “Smith-Cotton High School Tiger Pride Marching Band” and “Brass Evolutions 2009” are emblazoned above and below the image.

[….]

“I was disappointed with the image on the shirt.” Melby said. “I don’t think evolution should be associated with our school.”

I find it increasingly difficult to believe we will maintain first-world status for much longer.

(h/t MY)






58 replies
  1. 1
    Capn America says:

    I’m pretty sure a lot of the parents at that school are stuck at the Neanderthal stage. *

    * yes I know Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens aren’t directly related.

  2. 2
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    Ridiculous.

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    I need to catch up. I thought we lost first world status when we hired chimpy and darth to ruin the country.

  4. 4
    Ajay says:


    I find it increasingly difficult to believe we will maintain first-world status for much longer.

    We lost that many years ago; most just dont know it.

  5. 5
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    We are only a super power due to our complex toys. The collective wisdom of our peoples leaves us somewhere between water nymphs and Bonobos on the evolutionary tree of knowing shit from shinola.

  6. 6
    gwangung says:

    @Ruckus: No, this stuff predates Bush and Cheney….

    Indulging in this foolishness pretty much ALLOWED Bush and Cheney to take power.

  7. 7
    AnotherBruce says:

    Melby said. “I don’t think evolution should be associated with our school.”

    I’m guessing that Melby’s sense of irony has never evolved.

  8. 8
    JK says:

    Doug,

    You should have labeled this post “Pre-Neolithic Nation.” You’re being far too generous to wingnut America by using the title “Pre-Enlightenment Nation”.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    @gwangung:
    Absolutely. That shit is/was piled so high that the hiring of chimpy and darth set it on fire and I don’t see how we put it out. I was just trying to establish the timeline.

  10. 10
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @JK:

    You’re being far too generous to wingnut America by using the title “Pre-Enlightenment Nation”.

    Just wait till they start burning libtards at the stake.

  11. 11
    wasabi gasp says:

    Those rascally oompa-loompas need to work a rusty trombone into the new design.

  12. 12
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Ajay:

    WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE!

    Number one in international aggression.
    Number one in free market abuse.
    Number one in return to the methods of the Spanish Inquisition.
    Number one in consuming limited energy resources.
    and… (drum roll)
    Number one in consumption of ExtenZe.

  13. 13
    Keith G says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: You said it better and easier than I.

  14. 14
    Warren Terra says:

    I’m guessing this high-school is a feeder for Regent U:

    I seem to recall that Regent’s students include a huge proportion (a majority?) of home-schoolers.

    Although of course the fact that even in a god-fearing community like this one your righteous kid’s bandmates might turn out to be sinners who don’t abhor evolution is probably what drives so many of the American Taliban to homeschool their kids …

  15. 15
    Delia says:

    Actually, Doug, I believe the real feeders for Regents are all the fundie home-schoolers across the land. The folks at schools like this are just competing for second place.

  16. 16
    cat says:

    @Capn America:

    I’m pretty sure a lot of the parents at that school are stuck at the Neanderthal stage. *

    yes I know Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens aren’t directly related.

    Actually they are starting to think there was a lot of cross breeding between the two and not just a total elimination of Neanderthal by our ancestors.

    I think the evidence is some genetic marker that was only present in Neanderthals during a certain time period that started to crop up in our ancestors.

  17. 17
    cat says:

    blockquote strike again. How I hate thee.

  18. 18
    Comrade Kevin says:

    If you read the comments attached to that article, you’ll find a lot of people in Sedalia, MO who are pissed off about this, but not in the way Ms. Melby is. Actually, what’s really amazing is that Melby is a teacher in that school district. How’d she get a teaching credential?

  19. 19
    kay says:

    “it’s not like we are saying God is bad. We aren’t promoting evolution”

    That’s from a t-shirt supporter who is a sophomore in high school.

    What a shame. Evolution = God is “bad”

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The assistant superintendent said he’d have done the same thing if the shirts said “Brass Resurrections” and had a picture of Jesus on the cross. Why not do both? Crucified monkey theme for 2010!

  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    This weekend my other half mentioned the eight day Remote Area Medical free healthcare invent in Los Angeles to friends and said it was ridiculous that something like that happened in the richest country in the world.

    I said that it wasn’t in the richest country in the world, it was in the richest third-world country in the world.

  22. 22
    Chad N Freude says:

    My comment is awaiting moderation. I think because of the last word in the comment. So let’s try this again.

    WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE!

    Number one in international aggression.
    Number one in free market abuse.
    Number one in return to the methods of the Spanish Inquisition.
    Number one in consuming limited energy resources.
    and… (drum roll)
    Number one in consumption of – Ex_ten_Ze -.

  23. 23
    Chad N Freude says:

    Help! I can’t seem to work my way out of moderation hell.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    What a shame. Evolution = God is “bad”

    Yeah, I caught that, too. And how some of the students have been sadly misinformed about evolution (and probably science in general).

    High School junior Adam Tilley said he understood why the shirts were repossessed. “I can see where the parents are coming from,” he said. “Evolution has always been controversial.”

    And the thing of it is, the T-shirt is quite witty. I like how the first primate is clutching a trumpet in his tail.

  25. 25
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Chad N Freude: Never mind.

  26. 26
    wasabi gasp says:

    And the thing of it is, the T-shirt is quite witty. I like how the first primate is clutching a trumpet in his tail.

    Not to mention, totally gay.

  27. 27
    Tim in Wisconsin says:

    “I find it increasingly difficult to believe we will maintain first-world status for much longer.”

    To be an insufferable pedant, aren’t we by definition always going to be a first-world nation since we will always be our own ally? Or has the connotation of third-world as poor undeveloped nations officially overtaken its original cold war era definition as an ally of neither the Americans or the Soviets?

  28. 28
    Citizen_X says:

    Arrrrgggghhhh! Evolutionary theory has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION! If your religion has a problem with evolution, that’s YOUR problem. (So sayeth the First Amendment.)

    So, do they actually teach evolution in that district?

  29. 29

    1. Evolution is only a theory!

    2. More people believe in God than believe in evolution!

    So there …

    /dumbfuck

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Citizen_X says:

    Let’s try again:

    Pollitt said the district is required by law to remain neutral where religion is concerned.

    Arrrrgggghhhh! Evolutionary theory has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION! If your religion has a problem with evolution, that’s YOUR problem. (So sayeth the First Amendment.)

    So, do they actually teach evolution in that district?

  32. 32
    BruinKid says:

    This was a recommended diary on DailyKos yesterday, if you want to see more comments, plus the excellent “Double Facepalm” picture attached to it.

    You gotta add the picture of the t-shirt to this story to really give it the full effect.

  33. 33
    YellowJournalism says:

    Wow. I’m surprised that not a single student or parent truly protested having to return the shirts. When I was in high school band, we paid for the shirts ourselves, no private donors, although we often got discounts from the local printing place. In fact, I would want nothing to do with the private donor if he was denying funding based on what is clearly a play on words and images.

    Then again, those band and choir boosters can be quite political. The ones I’ve met in the past have been the original helicopter parents before it became more commonplace. And the businesses involved in boosters play way too much of a role sometimes in decisions that really should be left to the students, teachers, and advisiors involved in the activity. There is no better way to see that money talks than to take a look at who “supports” school extra-curriculars.

  34. 34
    Sly says:

    If you read the comments attached to that article, you’ll find a lot of people in Sedalia, MO who are pissed off about this, but not in the way Ms. Melby is. Actually, what’s really amazing is that Melby is a teacher in that school district. How’d she get a teaching credential?

    Missouri requires that a person seeking certification has a bachelors in the subject they wish to teach, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. They also have to complete a Teacher Prep. Program that lasts about a year.

    Scary Part: That’s about the average. Very few states require a Masters or a GPA above 3.0, and the few states that do require you to get a Masters within a few years of initial certification, so you can teach with a Bachelors for around five years.

    Scarier Part: There’s movements in some states to get rid of the Prep. Program requirement, which in most cases is laughable anyway. You can complete a program offered at online colleges like UOP in under a year, which is accepted by most states. They want to do this so the local pharmacist can teach 8th Grade Chemistry part time without any additional training in how to… you know… teach, so they don’t have to pay a full-time teacher.

    Scariest Part: Many states only require 30 or so undergraduate credits to teach in a given field and only a passing score on a content-specific test.

  35. 35

    Fucking cool shirt. I want one. They gotta have some extra, right?

  36. 36
    Warren Terra says:

    asiangrrlMN, I’ve never gotten one because I have mixed feelings about Che (basically: pretty good symbol, but also a murderer when he was in charge of executing people after Castro took power), but if you really want to blow winger minds there are a number of versions of shirts that adapt the iconic Che image with an ape’s face and say some version of “Viva La Evolution” (a couple of examples: 1, 2).

  37. 37
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Sly: Most masters courses required to get a professional certificate are just as pointless, if not demeaning, to the people required to take them as their education courses were. Many friends and former colleagues who went through their masters courses felt like they ended up spending a ton of money on nothing much. Usually there was one or two that were truly beneficial, depending on the subject matter. To be quite honest, a masters degree does not equal a better teacher. Sometimes it just means you have more student loans to pay off and not that much more money each month to pay them with.

    I went through a teacher prep program. The standards were pretty low at the time. I was shocked at the caliber of some of the people I met, especially in the lower level classes that covered the basics. For example, if you have to ask if you’ll be forced to work with kids who aren’t cute, then you need to get the fuck out of the education field. (This question came from someone who I hope is not currently a kindergarten teacher.)

    And don’t get me started on the ones who wanted to become history or social studies teachers (because those were the “easy” subjects to teach) just so they could coach.

    Right now, I’m not in the teaching field, and I’m kind of glad when I see what’s happening in my home state where they’re dumping the current standardized test and taking on a new one, all the while still having to meet state and federal score requirements. In my home town, almost every school is on some kind of probation program that will require scores to improve even on the new unproven tests in order to avoid being “reorganized” or lose funding.

  38. 38

    @Warren Terra: Ooooooooh, I am veeeeery tempted….

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    If I were from Missouri, I’d be very ashamed.

    Now, what’s this about a T-shirt?

  40. 40
    JSDreyer says:

    @DougJ

    Hey Doug, the story seemed to indicate that the kids were largely either apathetic or supportive of the shirts. That doesn’t sound like Regent U material to me. The pushback came from some kid’s parents and some loony teacher.

  41. 41
    Sly says:

    @Sly: Most masters courses required to get a professional certificate are just as pointless, if not demeaning, to the people required to take them as their education courses were. Many friends and former colleagues who went through their masters courses felt like they ended up spending a ton of money on nothing much.

    In terms of education courses, this is generally true. There isn’t much difference between the Masters and Undergraduate curriculum in terms of workload and what you’re actually studying (unless you’re in one of the top education programs in the country, like Columbia, but good luck getting in those places unless you speak Urdu or Haitian-Creole). But taking graduate-level courses in the actual subject should be required, so you at least get the sense of what actual academic work looks like.

    The best education courses, I find, are run by professors who try to do their best to convince you not to be a teacher.

    Usually there was one or two that were truly beneficial, depending on the subject matter. To be quite honest, a masters degree does not equal a better teacher. Sometimes it just means you have more student loans to pay off and not that much more money each month to pay them with.

    It doesn’t always equal a better teacher, but it often marks the difference between a person who’s fallen into teaching as a backup job and someone whose considering it as their actual profession. Those people are invariably better teachers, whether they actually get their Masters or not.

    But the value of a Masters also depends on the state and what the budget looks like. In hard times, districts might prefer to hire only Bachelors recipients even if those teachers might need a Masters as part of the state certification requirements. You can pay them less and in half the cases they’ll leave the profession before the requirement kicks in. The total turnover rate is something like five times the national average for all job types, in a field where you’re guaranteed health insurance and a reasonable pension.

    But with the massive amount of academic inflation that’s been going on for the past decade or so, I seriously doubt anyone without at least an MAT will be successful in the profession for the long term. The amount of Bachelors degrees out there, and the low requirements, makes standing out in job interviews extremely hard. I seriously doubt anyone will get a slot at a charter school with just a Bacherlors, and those are all “wave-of-the-futurey” in city districts.

    And don’t get me started on the ones who wanted to become history or social studies teachers (because those were the “easy” subjects to teach) just so they could coach.

    Yeah. Horrible part is, they make it harder for genuine teachers to compete. Quite a few districts open up spots for student teaching in subjects like economics and civics, because while those two are often part of state curricula they are generally not given the standardized test treatment. So new teachers are given a lot more freedom in those courses that they wouldn’t in algebra or Earth Science because the district isn’t afraid they’ll do a lot of damage. Odd thing is, it used to be that career coaches taught natural sciences.

    Right now, I’m not in the teaching field, and I’m kind of glad when I see what’s happening in my home state where they’re dumping the current standardized test and taking on a new one, all the while still having to meet state and federal score requirements. In my home town, almost every school is on some kind of probation program that will require scores to improve even on the new unproven tests in order to avoid being “reorganized” or lose funding.

    A lot of districts are now fudging the numbers or, worse, letting the teachers grade the tests themselves so they can just pass people they don’t want to have again the following year. Standardized testing usually makes social promotion worse, not better.

  42. 42
    someguy says:

    So simple, a Republican could do it.

  43. 43

    […] the crazy fucks’ heads erupt (via Balloon Juice): T-shirts worn by the Smith-Cotton High School band have evolved into controversy among parents. […]

  44. 44
    bellatrys says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    And don’t get me started on the ones who wanted to become history or social studies teachers (because those were the “easy” subjects to teach) just so they could coach.

    Holy Dimbulbs, Batman! You just explained one of the great Mysteries of my high school career to me!

    (Srsly, I couldn’t understand why the whole social studies dept – and half the English dept – during my tour at the neighborhood HS was filled with 90% doofuses who only wanted to talk about sports and were ignorant of history and politics. They were all coaches, coincidentally. I never thought about it that going to college – as teachers – was just a way to keep on playing sports, for them too.)

  45. 45
    khead says:

    I’m more upset that they stayed totally within the brass section on the shirt.

    I’m pretty sure that evolution would’ve included a move to saxophone at some point.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Michael says:

    We’re heading rapidly to second world economic status in terms of the populace as a whole, so this fits.

    On a really truly amusing side note, it looks like Sanford appointed a homeschooling fundamentalist abstinence only chairwoman to the state board of education who has an interesting side hobby – scribbling porn over at Literotica.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/9/1/775092/-OMG!!!Did-Mark-Sanford-appoint-net-porn-author-to-SC-Brd-of-Ed

    At South Carolina’s newpaper “The State”, she was given cover on her resignation, with no newspaper notice of the recent revelation of her little hobby.

  48. 48
    SGEW says:

    I would once again like to attract everyone’s attention to this 2008 Gallup poll, that kind of sums up the nation:

    “Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?”
    . . . .
    – God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so: 44%
    – Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process: 36%
    – Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process:14%
    – Other/Unsure: 5%

    That’s right: 44% of the U.S.A. believes that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.”

    Perhaps coincidentally, John McCain got 45.7% of the popular vote.

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @Michael:

    “Prior to being elected Chairwoman, Maguire led the panel responsible for approving education standards taught in South Carolina classrooms, including what textbooks were to be used and how teachers were to be certified. She has been a strong supporter of “abstinence only” sex education, as well. ”

    What’s odd about that is she homeschools her own four children. Did South Carolina get her personal homeschool lesson plan, state-wide? That’s an interesting approach.

  50. 50
    An Outhouse says:

    Here and I was thinking someone was offended because an ape was carrying their instrument.

  51. 51
    BenA says:

    You know what the biggest problem with people these days. Especially the gimps on the right… It’s the complete inability to just let something stupid slide. There’s absolutely no rational reason, EVEN IF, you think evolution is Satan to get all bent out of shape about a T-Shirt.

    My children are subject to alll kinds of influences and religious nonsense that I would rather not have them exposed to… but I explain it to my kids and let it slide.

    Of course I want my kids to have a rational open mind.

  52. 52
    Steeplejack says:

    @khead:

    Wind instruments represent!

  53. 53
    Augustine says:

    @khead:

    sorry, trombone is clearly the most evolved form. saxophone (and god forbid, clarinet) was certainly a non-advantageous mutation

  54. 54
    Xanthippas says:

    “I was disappointed with the image on the shirt.” Melby said. “I don’t think evolution should be associated with our school.”

    She means, other than in the sense that it’s taught in the classrooms.

  55. 55
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “I find it increasingly difficult to believe we will maintain first-world status for much longer”

    I’m with you. But if you go solely by what our people believe, we already are third-world.

  56. 56
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    http://pewglobal.org/reports/d.....portID=167

    Among Wealthy Nations U.S. Stands Alone in its Embrace of Religion

    Religion is much more important to Americans than to people living in other wealthy nations. Six-in-ten (59%) people in the U.S. say religion plays a very important role in their lives. This is roughly twice the percentage of self-avowed religious people in Canada (30%), and an even higher proportion when compared with Japan and Western Europe. Americans’ views are closer to people in developing nations than to the publics of developed nations.

  57. 57
    jerry 101 says:

    Kinda makes you wish that Southerners would get off their lazy asses and just go ahead and “rise again”

    It’d be a big PITA, but as a resident of a State that contributes much more to the Federal Budget than it receives back, I’d enjoy seeing a bit more of my tax dollars spent back here. Some nice, fresh public transit would be nice.

  58. 58

    […] anyone who doesn’t look like them. it can be as benign as a steadfast, damn-the-facts, science-denying, government is bad, give or take a dash of “values voter” indignancy. or it can be a […]

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  2. […] the crazy fucks’ heads erupt (via Balloon Juice): T-shirts worn by the Smith-Cotton High School band have evolved into controversy among parents. […]

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