AUSTIN (AP) — The state's director of science curriculum said she resigned this month under pressure from officials who felt she gave the appearance of criticizing the instruction of intelligent design.
The Texas Education Agency put Chris Comer on 30 days paid administrative leave in late October, resulting in what she described as a forced resignation.
The move came shortly after Comer forwarded an e-mail announcing a presentation being given by the author of Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse. In the book, author Barbara Forrest says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities.
Comer, who held her position for nine years, said she believes evolution politics were behind her ousting.
TEA officials declined to comment Wednesday on the personnel matter, but they explained their recommendation to fire Comer in documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman through the Texas Public Information Act.
"Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral," the officials said.
The documents show that Lizzette Reynolds, the agency's senior adviser on statewide initiatives, started the push to fire Comer over the e-mail.
"This is something that the State Board, the Governor's Office and members of the Legislature would be extremely upset to see because it assumes this is a subject that the agency supports," Reynolds said in an e-mail to Comer's supervisors.