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How do you reward kids who have perfect or near-perfect attendance in school?

If you’re the administrators at Southside Elementary School in Kentucky’s Lee County School District, the answer is simple: You take them on a field trip to the Creation Museum. (And then you foolishly tell the world about it.)


Southside Elementary perfect attendance students attended a field trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Any student who missed one day or less of school qualified for this trip. We appreciate the effort they have made to attend school all year!

Thanks to William Owens for helping with tickets and Jody Bingham for all the great planning! Ray Shuler and Greg Roberts took care of transportation and were a great help assisting the students! Also, a big thanks to these kids parents for their efforts all year in sending their students to school! Good attendance is a necessary part of a good education!!

It should be noted that Lee County School Board Chairman William Owens, who “helped with tickets,” also doubles as a minister. Maybe he forgot what day of the week it was.

You don’t honor kids with the best attendance by infesting their minds with nonsense masquerading as science. What’s the educational value in having kids indoctrinated into Christianity? That’s all the museum is trying to do. (I would know; I’ve been there twice.)

This field trip was an insult to all the science teachers whose lessons were deemed a fairy tale by the museum’s exhibits, to the parents who wrongly believed their kids’ religious education would be their decision, and to the students who were led to belief the Creation Museum had anything of value to offer the world.

It was also illegal. Whether or not this trip was optional makes no difference — it was sponsored and promoted by the school.

One important detail: This took place in 2012 and came to light now. The only reason I know about is through a press release from Dan Phelps, a Kentuckian who has been keeping tabs on the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter theme park.

So while all of this may be moot, there are two questions worth asking:

Have any other public schools taken a similar trip?

Has the Lee County School District taken students back to the Museum since then?

Not all field trips are advertised on the district’s website and it’s possible they simply haven’t publicly announced these trips since 2012.

It’s something the District needs to apologize for. Officials also need to promise it hasn’t happened (and won’t happen) again. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has been notified.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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