So Hugoton High School in Hugoton, Kansas had three assemblies, that reportedly were not mandatory, held on the subject of dinosaurs. The only issue with the assemblies is: their speakers (and thus the people that the school is, explicitly or implicitly, promoting as authorities on a subject) are young-earth creationists.
So far there's not a whole lot of information on what happened in Hugoton today and yesterday, and it mainly seems like more data needs to be accumulated, but the superintendent, Mark Crawford, is still in extreme defense mode of his decision to let YECs talk on his campus (but not about YEC! ...during school time).
Interesting quotes from/about Mr. Crawford:
Crawford said ... that the ACLU had sought to intimidate the district into canceling [the events]. Crawford ... said he had a duty to show his students “how to handle a bully.” ...
“He [Matt Miles, one of the YEC speakers] helped the kids to think like a paleontologist — how dinos are named, excavated, where they are found,” Crawford said of the assemblies. ...
“On paper he’s not going to stand out to the scientific community. I understand that,” Crawford said of Miles’ background. “As a communicator he’s excellent.” ...
In addition to the assemblies, Miles held evening talks in Hugoton on school property, which Crawford said were about creationism.
And while all of those are depressing or funny or just face-palming, I guess the most depressing part is this:
“The closest natural history museum is three hours away in Hays,” he said.
Which is, unfortunately, true. In spite of being in a state with vast collections of paleontological resources, Hugoton is a 3.5 hours drive from the closest actual museum. So YEC organizations are able to use replicas of dinosaur bones as their Trojan horse, to pretend that they are knowledgeable about science and get into schools. And if the school is nice enough to let them have out-of-school talks about how evolution is evil and accepting evolution is anti-Christ? Well, shoot, sometimes that part of the speech just slips out.
Honestly, I just really hope that students weren't lied to. Adults can believe whatever nonsense they want to, but teaching nonsense to minors, and allowing nonsense to be taught to minors, is reprehensible.
The ACLU's local legal director and Hugoton's superintendent appear to be disagreeing on whether or not the assemblies were mandatory. The first link also includes a copy of the assembly content provided by the superintendent, apparently one of the topics was Dragons – Real or not? The second link provides an...interesting...quote from the superintendent.
"... in six years as a citizen of Hugoton, I've learned the parents and citizens here in this community want their children to also be curious about other viewpoints of creation and origin."
I'll just leave that comment uncommented on.