A BABY boy was killed when 12 people leapt off a second-floor balcony – to “get away from the Devil”.
Eight people, including several children, were hurt, some seriously. Police are trying to get to the bottom of the bizarre tragedy.
Survivors of the mass plunge from a flat in a Paris suburb said the incident began in the early hours of the morning when a dad got out of bed naked to feed his crying baby.
They said the man’s wife saw him moving around and started screaming that she had seen the Devil.
The man was then stabbed in the hand by his wife’s sister and thrown out through the door of the flat.
But when he tried to get back in, the other people inside grabbed their children and jumped off the 20-foot balcony.
A spokeswoman for the local prosecutor’s office said: “Panic erupted.”
The family involved are of African origin, possibly from Angola. Police found no evidence of drug use or religious rituals at the flat.
One of the children, a four-month-old baby boy, died in hospital several hours after the incident.
Several of those hurt in the jump have multiple injuries.
Detectives are questioning the man who sparked the incident, and another male who jumped from the balcony with a two-year-old girl in his arms.
The prosecutor’s office spokeswoman said: “A number of points remain to be cleared up.”
Thanks to JT Hundley for the story
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn’t taken a friend’s advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old’s biology lessons.Mule’s precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth’s excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin’s theory.
“I thought she was going to have a coronary,” Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. “She’s like, ‘This is not true!'”
Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth’s creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children “religious or moral instruction.””The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,” said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program.”
Those who don’t, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.
Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.
“I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.
‘History of Life’
The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn’t attempt to mask disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.
“Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling,” says the introduction to “Biology: Third Edition” from Bob Jones University Press. “This book was not written for them.”
The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its “History of Life” chapter that a “Christian worldview … is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is.”
When the AP asked about that passage, university spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence made it into the book because of an editing error and will be removed from future editions.
The size of the business of home-school texts isn’t clear because the textbook industry is fragmented and privately held publishers don’t give out sales numbers. Slatter said home-school material sales reach about $1 billion annually in the U.S.
Publishers are well aware of the market, said Jay Wile, a former chemistry professor in Indianapolis who helped launch the Apologia curriculum in the early 1990s.
“If I’m planning to write a curriculum, and I want to write it in a way that will appeal to home-schoolers, I’m going to at least find out what my demographic is,” Wile said.
Thanks to JT Hundley for the link.