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Ark Park Critics Turn Attention To Public Schools

Lengthy ramps connect the different levels inside the centerpiece of Ark Encounter, a 510-foot long representation of Noah's ark as depicted in the book of Genesis.
Lengthy ramps connect the different levels inside the centerpiece of Ark Encounter, a 510-foot long representation of Noah's ark as depicted in the book of Genesis.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt is responding to Freedom From Religion Foundation mailers sent to public school districts in the region warning them against organizing field trips to the state’s new Noah’s ark theme park.

Lengthy ramps connect the different levels inside the centerpiece of Ark Encounter, a 510-foot long representation of Noah's ark as depicted in the book of Genesis.
Credit Josh James / WUKY
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Lengthy ramps connect the different levels inside the centerpiece of Ark Encounter, a 510-foot long representation of Noah's ark as depicted in the book of Genesis.

In a communication with the districts, Pruitt said field trip locations should not be decided by outside organizations or the Kentucky Department of Education – adding that the trips must be directly related to the classroom curriculum.

FFRF co-president Dan Barker attended a protest of Ark Encounter in Williamstown last week. Speaking with WUKY, he described the park as a proselytizing tool.

"A lot of teachers and school want to take the students to this place as if it were some kind of a fun family event or as if it were a historical or even scientific excursion when it's not," he said.

Site-Based Decision Making Councils are in charge of okaying field trips in commonwealth.

Ark Encounter representatives tell the Lexington Herald-Leader they expect trips from Christian and home schools, but not from public schools.

Copyright 2016 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.