Clearing the Air- What I Really Said at the TTDems Meeting About Evolution

A recent post on the Tredyffrin Democratic Party blog misrepresented me by claiming I am an intelligent design advocate. The author based her attack on something she claims that I said at a Democratic Committee Meeting. However, I have a video of the event which shows I said nothing of the sort.

On the TTDems blog, Tredyffrin Democratic committee member Sandra Malard wrote,

“Creationism and intelligent design in the Tredyffrin/Easttown schools' science curriculum? If that idea disturbs you, but you think it's an unlikely development, please read on. Speaking by invitation at one of the Tredyffrin Democrats monthly meetings earlier this year, all but one of the Republican-backed candidates immediately and emphatically repudiated the idea of injecting intelligent design into the T/E curriculum. Debbie Bookstaber, however, would only say: "I think the matter requires more study." This evasive response from someone who wishes to steer the education of our children should at least raise an eyebrow…. Ms. Bookstaber owes the voters an honest statement of her views.”

Here is a link to a video of my actual response. It may not be the most eloquent answer I’ve ever articulated, but it does show Sandra Malard to be prevaricating.

My response was only 24 seconds long, so it is possible Sandra Malard misheard me or misconstrued my statement about having respect for all points of view. But I am not- as Sandra Malard claims- trying to conceal my position on this – or any other – issue applicable to my candidacy for the school board.

I have never felt that science and faith were incompatible. In fact, I learned about evolution for the first time in 4th grade at Waldron-Mercy Catholic School and never viewed it as controversial. As I noted in my remarks, I also believe any decision about curriculum should be made in full compliance with Pennsylvania State Law and only after consultation with relevant educational experts.

To further clarify my positions, here is an excerpt of an email that I sent to Tredyffrin Democratic Committee Chair Maria Micolucci and to Art Post, Democratic Candidate for School Board, in response to the content on the TTDems blog:

“The tape proves that the accusation on the TTDems site is untrue. Anyone who knows me could tell you that this creationism/intelligent design accusation is a complete falsehood....While I am respectful of people who believe in creationism and intelligent design, I am not one of them. I have absolutely no intention of changing the way evolution is taught in our school district. I certainly am not trying to conceal my position on this or any topic as was implied in the post on the TTDems site and on Daily Kos.

I am surprised to see such vicious mud-slinging in a school board campaign. If I were to be elected, I would represent all households- not just the Republican households. I don't believe partisanship belongs in a school board campaign. It is my sincere hope that we can run a campaign on the issues instead of resorting to negative campaigning. I plan to run my own campaign purely on the issues rather than attacking the other people running. I believe that is the only ethical thing to do.”

I am happy to debate or clarify my position on any subject relevant to my candidacy on the school board through this blog. I want to represent all T-E voters and taxpayers, and anyone is welcome to contact me at