How 19-Year-Old Activist Zack Kopplin Is Making Life Hell for Louisiana’s Creationists

You gotta love this kid for stepping up
Politics • Views: 29,812

High fives for Zack. He is facing down trolls, creationists, climate denialists and his own state legislature. I think we should keep an eye on this one.

For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom. Outraged, he wrote a research paper about it for a high school English class. Nearly five years later, the 19-year-old Kopplin has become one of the fiercest — and most feared — advocates for education reform in Louisiana. We recently spoke to him to learn more about how he’s making a difference.

Kopplin, who is studying history at Rice University, had good reason to be upset after the passing of the LSEA — an insidious piece of legislation that allows teachers to bring in their own supplemental materials when discussing politically controversial topics like evolution or climate change. Soon after the act was passed, some of his teachers began to not just supplement existing texts, but to rid the classroom of established science books altogether. It was during the process to adopt a new life science textbook in 2010 that creationists barraged Louisiana’s State Board of Education with complaints about the evidence-based science texts. Suddenly, it appeared that they were going to be successful in throwing out science textbooks.

A pivotal moment

How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists “This was a pivotal moment for me,” Kopplin told io9. “I had always been a shy kid and had never spoken out before — I found myself speaking at a meeting of an advisory committee to the State Board of Education and urging them to adopt good science textbooks — and we won.” The LSEA still stood, but at least the science books could stay.

No one was more surprised of his becoming a science advocate than Kopplin himself. In fact, after writing his English paper in 2008 — when he was just 16-years-old — he assumed that someone else would publicly take on the law. But no one did.

More: How 19-Year-Old Activist Zack Kopplin Is Making Life Hell for Louisiana’s Creationists

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Thanos
Fallout 4: Is the Transistor a Symbol of Peace?
It's a retro-future future... Today's episode has been sponsored by Squarespace. For more information, visit squarespace.com Tweet us! bit.lyIdea Channel Facebook! bit.lyTalk about this episode on reddit! bit.lyIdea Channel IRC! bit.lyEmail us! pbsideachannel [at] gmail [dot] com Fallout’s unique brand ...

21 hours, 38 minutes ago
Views: 158 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
HappyWarrior
A Photo Depository For Lizards Interested in Family History
So some of us were talking and decided it would be a neat idea to have a thread filled with old photos of family history. I'll post a photo as well an accompanying article about my great grandfather's blacksmtih shop. ...

1 day, 7 hours ago
Views: 236 • Comments: 34 • Rating: 7
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Laws Written by Men to Protect Women Deserve Scrutiny, Supreme Court Told
History holds a lesson for the Supreme Court, the brief warns: Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men. The nation’s past is littered with such statutes, say the historians who filed the friend-of-the-court brief, and ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 228 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Great White Snark
Canadians Learn Arabic to Give Syrian Refugees a Warm Welcome
A timely reminder some real angels walk among us. Simple human angels of mercy for the distressed. Canadian David Foster developed a passion for Arabic ten years ago, while he was working for an international company in Sudan. Now, he ...

1 day, 21 hours ago
Views: 372 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 21 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
mishuga
Ted Nugent: Jew(ish Politician)s = Nazis
Ted Nugent singled out 12 Jewish-American politicians, complete with a graphic depicting each of the politicians alongside an Israeli flag, for supporting gun control and other crimes. The post, which has been shared more than 4,000 times and liked more ...

3 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 401 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Why We Need to Think Beyond Roe v. Wade - Pacific Standard
For the immigrant mothers—Dolores Madrigal, the lead plaintiff, and the nine others named in the suit, and countless others whose names we will not know—the story was more complex, the culpable more numerous. First, there were the doctors and ...

3 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 368 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Are Pets Really Good for Us? - Pacific Standard
We just adopted a dog, meaning I'm now a pet owner, meaning I'm now responsible for another living creature. It's weird. Her name is Bella. She's a pit bull mixed with something that is not a pit bull, and ...

3 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 360 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Thanos
DNA Study of First Ancient African Genome Flawed, Researchers Report
True science is often about finding errors, mistakes, and bad data and correcting it. As it turns out, the data produced by the program used to map Mota’s DNA came in a format that had to be tweaked before the ...

4 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 727 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 39 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
The NFL Wants You to Think These Things Are Illegal
The voiceover in the clip says: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent ...

4 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 903 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 94 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Future Islands - the Chase
Filmed live at The Music Farm in Charleston, SC on April 14, 2015 by Allen Alcantara on a GoPro Hero4. US Tour Crew:Live Sound: Dan FromeLighting Designer: Phil WeinholtTour Manager: Allen AlcantaraKing of Shirts: Dan GaetaLive drums: Michael Lowry ...

6 days ago
Views: 485 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0