updated 5/24/2005 8:54:08 AM ET 2005-05-24T12:54:08

Workers in Cobb County have begun removing controversial evolution disclaimer stickers from science textbooks to comply with a judge’s order.

By the end of the day Monday, several thousand stickers, which said evolution was a theory and not a fact, had been scraped off. The school district had put 34,452 stickers on textbooks across the county.

The evolution disclaimers read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

Six parents sued to remove the stickers saying the disclaimers violated the principle of the separation of church and state. A federal judge in January agreed and ordered the stickers removed.

An appeal by the school system, north of Atlanta, is pending.

“It’s a sad day in Cobb County,” said Larry Taylor, a parent who favors including alternatives to evolution in science classes. “I hate to see the stickers go. I thought they were a fair compromise.”

But Jeffrey Selman, who was the lead parent among a group who sued to remove the stickers, said he was glad they were being removed. “I’m optimistic, but it ain’t over till it’s over,” Selman said.

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