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On April 1, Louisiana Representative Ben Nevers introduced House Concurrent Resolution 50, which “[e]ncourages city, parish, and other local public school systems to refrain from purchasing certain textbooks.”
The resolution states that “in the effort to encourage the development of students’ critical thinking skills, city, parish, and other local public school systems should refrain from purchasing textbooks that do not present a balanced view of the various theories relative to the origin of life but rather refer to one theory as proven fact.”
A bill proposing a textbook disclaimer of evolution has failed to advance in the Oklahoma legislature. HB 1504 missed this year's official deadline for committee action. See also the January 28 news item on this page.
Senate Bill 168 was not acted upon by the Education Committee before a March 1 deadline, and is therefore officially finished for this year's session of the Kansas Legislature. This result was expected following comments by the Education Committee chair that the bill was already "dead in the water". See February 11 news item on this page.
Mississippi University for Women has reinstated Nancy Bryson, an untenured associate professor of chemistry, as its division head of science and mathematics following accusations that she was demoted because of a lecture she gave advocating “intelligent design.” The university administration denies these accusations; the Chronicle for Higher Education (March 17, 2003) reports that according to the university counsel, her lecture played no part in her demotion, and that there were previous concerns about Bryson’s job performance.
On February 20, 2003 the West Virginia Board of Education voted to adopt new science standards developed over the past year. The vote to approve the draft standards without any of the changes proposed by supporters of "intelligent design theory" was unanimous. Evolution features importantly in the new guidelines, which are based on frameworks suggested by the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Texas Tech University biology professor Michael Dini is reportedly the target of a Justice Department inquiry for refusing to award letters of recommendations to students who deny human evolution.
House Bill 1397, sponsored by Representative Carmel Wells-Smith, was introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives and referred to the Education Committee on January 20, 2003. On February 4 the bill died in committee when it missed the House's deadline for action. HB 1397 would have required the inclusion of a version of the Alabama evolution disclaimer in every textbook that discusses the subject. Wells-Smith introduced two antievolution bills in the 2002 legislative session, both of which also died in committee.
On December 11, 2002 the South Carolina Board of Education voted 10-5 to approve a number of new biology textbooks for local adoption across the state next fall. Several board members had objected to the way evolution was presented in some of the books, but a motion to remove two biology texts from the list failed by a 9-6 vote. Some board members were quoted in a December 22 news story in the Charleston Post & Courier as opposing one book because its preface referred to "creation science" and "intelligent design" as "pseudoscience".
On February 3 this year's session of the Oklahoma state legislature will open. Among the bills scheduled to be introduced at that time is House Bill 1504, sponsored by Rep. Bill Graves. This bill would require an evolution disclaimer in every textbook which discusses the subject.
Similar bills have been introduced in Oklahoma in the past, but failed to pass. The complete text of the bill, available on the Oklahoma legislature's website, reads as follows:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA: