Tennessee’s House of Representatives has passed an academic freedom measure that would allow teachers in public science classrooms to present the strengths and weaknesses of controversial issues, such as evolution and global warming, without fear of discipline or termination.

ICR News initially reported on the proposed bill in March.1 The legislature voted 70 to 23 in favor of House Bill 368 on April 7, 2011.2 The bill summary reads:

This bill prohibits the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from prohibiting any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught, such as evolution and global warming.3

The legislation, now dubbed SB 0893, heads to the Senate education committee, which will begin discussions on April 13, 2011.

If it passes in the Senate, the legislation will go to the governor to sign. The home state of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 may become the next state, after Louisiana,4 to have a law promoting academic freedom.

References

  1. Dao, C. Academic Freedom Up for Vote in Home of Scopes. ICR News. Posted on icr.org March 14, 2011, accessed April 8, 2011.
  2. Floor and Committee Votes for HB 0368. Tennessee General Assembly. Accessed on wapp.capitl.tn.gov April 8, 2011.
  3. Bill Summary for HB 0368. Tennessee General Assembly. Accessed on wapp.capitl.tn.gov April 8, 2011.
  4. Dao, C. Louisiana the Only State to Promote Academic Freedom (So Far). ICR News. Posted on icr.org July 23, 2008, accessed April 8, 2011.

* Ms. Christine Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.

Additional Resources

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