A school board in suburban Atlanta has given up on its years-long defense of placing stickers critical of the theory of evolution on high school science books.
The Cobb County school board signed an agreement filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday agreeing never to use a similar sticker or to undermine the teaching of evolution in science classes.
In return, plaintiffs who sued the board agreed to drop all legal action.
"We certainly think that it's a win not just for our clients but for all students in Cobb County and, really, all residents of Georgia," said Beth Littrell, associate legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.
The school board placed the stickers on the cover of biology books in 2002 after a group of parents complained that evolution was being taught to the exclusion of other theories, including the Biblical story of creation.
The stickers read, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper ordered the stickers be removed in 2005, saying they convey an "impermissible message of endorsement" of religion, despite not specifically mentioning it.