There’s a reason this blog is called “06880,” not “06883”: Although Weston borders Westport, I really don’t know much anything about what goes on there.
Okay, I lied. I know they have 2-acre zoning, so no one in Weston ever actually sees his or her neighbor.
I know Cobb’s Mill Inn is the place for weddings, bar mitzvahs and retirement dinners. And I mean that literally — it’s the only place in town.
And I know that — just like their cousins/spouses down in Weston, Ala. and Weston, Miss. — the folks up in Weston, Conn. don’t cotton to crazy ideas.
In case you missed this story, a Weston teacher says he was told not to teach the theory of evolution. The teacher — Mark Tangarone — ran Weston Elementary School’s talented and gifted program for 17 years. But he’s leaving — because, he says, administrators refused to let him teach this new-fangled idea about man being descended from — you’ll laugh! — monkeys.
In 2008, then-Weston Intermediate School principal Mark Ribbens emailed FedExed telegraphed Tangarone that evolution “is a philosophically unsatisfactory explanation for the diversity of life.”
Take that, chimps!
The principal added: “I know personally that I would be challenged in leading a 10-year-old through this sort of discussion while maintaining the appropriate sensitivity to a family’s religious beliefs or traditions.”
Yes sirree. There’s no telling what kind of questions young Dylan or Ashleigh might ask Mom or Dad next, once they’ve had their 10-year-old brains unlocked.
They might even want to watch the Discovery Channel, provided Cablevision has wired Weston yet.
Smote down like a sinner in the hand of an angry God, Tangarone nevertheless came back for more. He hoped to teach about Darwin during the current 1909-1910 2009-2010 school year.
But, Tangarone said, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Thomas Scarice told him: “Drop it.”
Ribbens called faxed sent a message by Pony Express telling Tangarone: “Evolution is a topic that is not age appropriate, is not part of our existing curriculum, is not part of the state frameworks at this point in a student’s education, nor a topic in which you have particular expertise.”
Take that, Mark Tangarone!
Sweeping aside the fact that — according to the Fairfield Weekly — evolution is part of the 3rd through 5th grade science frameworks, as well as part of the Weston Public Schools’ curriculum (starting as early as kindergarten), “06880” vows solemnly to stand with our Weston neighbors (even though we can’t see them) in their fight to haul their town into the 21st 20th 19th century.
Evolution today! A 2nd restaurant tomorrow!
This progress thing could really take off.