The theory of evolution (that has also been proven to be factual, with an insurmountable amount of evidence) has been debated over ever since it was proposed by the notorious geneticist, Charles Darwin, in the late nineteenth century. Darwin's theory of evolution states that all organisms descended from a common ancestor through slight genetic variations that accumulated over time, with the preservation of beneficial variations and the weeding out of organisms with, well, the bad ones.
Evolution is taught to students in as early as elementary school. I personally remember first learning about it in my second-grade science class. A large number of parents, however, do not appreciate this. Why? Because of conflicting religious beliefs.
Over 14 states, which include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, and even Washington D.C, with the help of tax dollars, teach young students the idea of creationism instead of Darwin's theory of evolution. Creationism is the idea that the human existence originated through divine means, such as the biblical belief that God created humans, Adam and Eve specifically, “out of his image."
Freedom of religion is a right protected by the U.S Constitution, giving citizens the right to practice religion through practice, worship, and teaching. Therefore, these states legally are allowed to teach their students creationism instead of evolution.
I understand and respect that people have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe in. This is how it should be. My largest qualm, however, is that religious ideas have somehow seeped into public classrooms, full of curious and naive children. By not teaching children about evolution because it challenges your religious ideals, you are consciously depriving them of a world of immense knowledge. Kids love learning about animals. They shouldn't be deprived of information just because it doesn't align with what the schooling system believes. This will invariably raise a classroom full of ignorant kids, that don't know how to seriously broach the topic if it were to arise.
This is perhaps the reason why so many Republicans belonging to the deep south completely shut down the issue of climate change. They are taught (I'd say brainwashed) from a young age that human beings *magically appeared* on Earth when God commanded it. Believe what you want to believe in, and if that means thinking that we as a species *popped* out of nowhere, then godspeed. But don't shove baseless stories down the throats of young students, especially when we have tangible evidence like fossils that prove the theory of evolution, that they would benefit much more from learning about.
It's 2019, for crying out loud. Educate your kids, while we still have time as a species.