Atheist group files complaint against Christian school

The Kamloops Christian School is well within its right to teach creationism alongside evolution in science class, the school's principal said Monday.

"As long as we follow and meet the needs of the province, we're fine," said Terry Rogers.

Rogers's statement came after The Daily News told him the Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought filed a complaint with the Ministry of Education about the publicly funded school teaching religion in a class dedicated to science.

The atheist group's director, Bill Ligertwood, filed his complaint last week, asking the ministry to stop funding faith-based schools teaching evolution alongside creationism.

Ligertwood said creationism should be reserved for religious-themed classes because it is not a proven scientific fact.

"It's like teaching alchemy in a chemistry class," he said. "In a science class: teach science."

But Section 76 of the School Act reveals a difference between public schools - which are prohibited from teaching religion - and independent schools, which allow for faith-based instruction.

A Ministry of Education spokesperson said it doesn't matter what classes are taught at an independent school, as long as the curriculum is followed.

"It appears that Kamloops Christian School is living up to its commitment."

Rogers doesn't fault Ligertwood for his criticism.

"He has his right to have a voice."

Ligertwood said he hopes the province will take his complaint seriously and ask the school to cease and desist.

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