This is not the first time the film has caused controversy. Last year, the National Science Teachers Association refused to accept 50,000 free copies of the DVD that the producers were donating so the film could be shown in schools. Laurie David wrote about the rejection of the offer in a Washington Post opinion piece, suggesting the rejection was because of the organization's desire for contributions from major oil companies for its capital campaign. The association later accepted the films.
On Monday, Jan. 9, Haridson says he sent an e-mail to the teacher to "vehemently protest" the scheduled showing of the film. When she didn't respond, he says he e-mailed the school district superintendent and others on the board, who notified him that they were going to stop the screening of the film that Friday and not permit the showing of the documentary in the school district -- at least temporarily.
"The board placed a moratorium on the showing of the film until the superintendent could ascertain that all policies had been followed and determine where else the film had been shown," Diane A. Turner, a spokeswoman for Federal Way Public Schools, tells ABC News.
In Los Angeles, David was befuddled and angered to hear the news, calling it the result of "misinformation and ignorance."
"This film is based on science," David says. "Science is fact. Since when is fact controversial? And to have an esteemed former vice president of the United States deliver the information only gives it credibility and seriousness."
David says that Norway, Scotland and Sweden have made the film required viewing in their schools.
After two weeks of heated debate within the community, the moratorium was lifted at a school board meeting on Tuesday. But not before David Larson, the school board member who first suggested the moratorium, decried "the lack of civility exhibited by some in the last two-week period."
Larson said the heated debate was an "atmospheric phenomenon … destroying our country by forcing honest discussions by honest people into the shadows for fear of being slammed from the right, slammed from the left, and sometimes slammed from both sides."
Hardison says he's happy. "We came to a consensus at the conclusion of the meeting. The school will show the scientific portion of the movie to the class as well as other sources that dispute it."
He says this will likely include a visit to the school from Kay Jones, a former science adviser to President Nixon, who believes that the research data on climate change does not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful, and that there is even evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is good for the environment. Jones lives nearby, Hardison says, and "volunteered to provide his research as well. He has a lot of information that the global warming thing we're going through right now is cyclical and something the earth naturally goes through."