About 60 public high school teachers from the Atlanta area were at Emory University last week, swapping stories about the challenges they face when teaching evolution, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They said students often walk in with grave misconceptions about the subject, and many parents fear teachers will tell kids that they can’t have their religious beliefs. Some students burst into tears when a high school biology teacher told them they’d be studying evolution. Another teacher said some students repeatedly screamed "no" when he began talking about it. Other teachers said students demanded to know whether they pray and questioned why they had to learn about evolution if it was just a theory.  "I’ve seen churches train students to come to school with specific questions to ask to sabotage my lessons," said Bonnie Pratt, a biology teacher at Northview High in north Fulton County, Ga. "We need parents and the community to understand why and how we teach evolution." The teachers were at a workshop on teaching evolution organized by Emory’s Center for Science Education. They discussed ways to teach it and how to address challenges and misconceptions. The training was part of a two-day evolution conference on campus that ended Oct. 25. Teaching evolution has long stoked a debate over science and religion in public schools. Some view it as incompatible with their religious views about how God created the universe and human beings. Many educators and scientists say it’s the basis for biology, which is a gateway course to future studies of life sciences. These conflicting ideas have battled in Georgia and elsewhere…

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