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5103Bill is back in Dover!

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  • rlbaty@webtv.net
    Jan 1, 2005
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      Dover board member back
      Bill Buckingham missed a meeting appointing legal defense for the
      district.

      By JOSEPH MALDONADO

      For the Daily Record/Sunday News
      Friday, December 31, 2004

      Dover Area School Board member Bill Buckingham, who headed the board's
      push to have intelligent design included in the district's science
      curriculum and then missed three board meetings — including the one at
      which the school board appointed a legal team to defend a lawsuit over
      the new policy — is back on the scene.

      "All I can tell you is that I had to take care of some personal
      business," he said Thursday.
      Before he left in early December, he said, representatives from the
      Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., advised him not to say where
      he was going or what the personal matters pertained to.

      On Dec. 20, without Buckingham present, the board voted to appoint the
      Thomas More center to defend it against a lawsuit filed on behalf of 11
      parents in the district who do not want intelligent design to be taught
      in Dover Area biology classes.

      More than a week ago, Thomas More center president Richard Thompson said
      he wanted to get in touch with Buckingham but didn't know where to find
      him.

      Buckingham said he'll attend the board's meeting Monday.

      "I hope I haven't given the impression that I have been ducking the
      issues or hiding," he said.

      Buckingham said he is ready for the district's day in court.

      "It has always been my contention that this board hasn't done anything
      wrong," he said. "So let's get on with it."

      Attorneys for parents who are suing the district have said they want to
      depose Buckingham to help them determine whether to file a request for a
      temporary restraining order in hopes of preventing intelligent design
      from being taught this semester in ninth-grade biology class. That could
      occur as early as Jan. 13.

      Monday, former board president Alan Bonsell, current president Sheila
      Harkins and district Supt. Richard Nilsen are scheduled to give legal
      depositions on the issue.

      Intelligent design suggests that life was created by a designer, which
      critics say equates to a deity or god. They argue that teaching the
      theory violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

      "We do not want to teach religion," said Buckingham, who is chairman of
      the curriculum committee. "That's not what this is about."

      Former board president Alan Bonsell reiterated what he has said since
      the curriculum change.
      "The board simply wants to provide an alternative, scientific theory of
      how the world works," he said. "And intelligent design is science."

      Neither Buckingham nor Bonsell would say any more about the curriculum
      change on the advice of their lawyers.

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