NCSE News / Anti-Evolution Actions Alert
Alabama's House Bill 133 — which would, if enacted, "authorize local boards of education to include released time religious instruction as an elective course for high school students" — was passed by the House Education Policy Committee on February 29, 2012, according to the Birmingham News (February 29, 2012).
"The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal Tuesday from a former high school student who sued his history teacher, saying he disparaged Christianity in class in violation of the student's First Amendment rights," the Orange County Register (February 21, 2012) reported. The case in question is C. F. et al. v. Capistrano Unified School District et al., which began in 2007.
A bill in Oklahoma that would, if enacted, encourage teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of "controversial" topics such as "biological evolution" and "global warming" is back from the dead.
The two antievolution bills in New Hampshire's House of Representatives were editorially denounced by the Concord Monitor (February 20, 2012), which wrote, "The House should spare the state further embarrassment and kill both bills."
Alabama's House Bill 133 — which would, if enacted, "authorize local boards of education to include released time religious instruction as an elective course for high school students" — was introduced at the behest of a former teacher who was "fired in 1980 for reading the Bible and teaching creationism at Spring Garden Elementary School when parents of the public school sixth-grade students objected and he refused to stop," the Birmingham News (February 17, 2012) reports.
"The House Education Committee dismissed two bills this morning that would have dictated classroom lectures on evolution," the Concord Monitor's State House blog reported (February 16, 2012).
A leading authority on the law of religious liberty regards Alabama's House Bill 133 — which would, if enacted, "authorize local boards of education to include released time religious instruction as an elective course for high school students" — as unconstitutional.
A bill introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives would allow local boards of education to award credit for religious instruction — and its sponsor says that it is intended as a vehicle for teaching creationism.
"A bill passed last month by the Indiana Senate that would have allowed schools to teach religious stories of creation along with the theory of evolution when discussing the origins of life in science class is dead," according to the Indianapolis Star's education blog (February 14, 2012).
Indiana's Senate Bill 89, passed by the Senate on January 31, 2012, is off to the House of Representatives, and speculations and recommendations about its fate are circulating.