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HB 1782 Tabled

House Bill 1782 was considered by the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 30. After 15 minutes of discussion on the House floor, the bill was tabled by a vote of 57 to 34, making any further action in this session very unlikely.

Potential anti-evolution legislation in Louisiana

The Louisiana House of Representatives is considering a bill, HB 1782, that "prohibits any branch, department, agency, official, employee, or other entity of state government or of any political subdivision from knowingly printing or distributing material that contains information that is false or fraudulent."

Justice Department Drops Inquiry of Biology Professor

The Justice Department on April 22 announced that it was closing its inquiry into complaints of religious discrimination by Texas Tech student Micah Spradling against biology professor Michael Dini. See the Justice Department’s press release for details.

More on Blount County, Tennessee

On April 3, the Blount County Board of Education voted not to adopt three high school biology textbooks because they do not present creationism alongside evolution, according to The Daily Times. The vote to reject the textbooks was 6-1 (contrary to the The Daily Times's previous report that the vote was 2-1 with 4 abstentions). Since the vote, board members have reportedly been inundated with letters and e-mails regarding the vote.

Textbook Disclaimer Proposed

The South Carolina Senate is considering S153, a bill dealing with instructional materials and textbooks. On April 9 an amendment was offered by Sen. Fair with the following key provision:

(B) The following must be placed in all science books published for kindergarten through twelfth grade:
'The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Therefore, empirical science cannot provide data about the beginning of life.'

Another "Controversial Issues" Bill

House Bill 1172 is scheduled to be considered by the Public Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives on April 22. Although concerned mainly with the presentation of patriotism, the free enterprise system, and historical events, the proposed bill also contains this provision: "... the board and each school district shall ensure that ... each controversial issue addressed in the public school curriculum is presented in a balanced manner that reflects multiple viewpoints regarding the issue..."

Scott Receives "Defense of Science" Award

NCSE Executive Director Dr. Eugenie C. Scott was pleasantly surprised on April 12, 2003 at the Center for Inquiry conference in Washington, DC, at which she received CFI's "The Defense of Science Award" for "her tireless leadership in defending scientific evolution and educational freedom." Congratulations to Dr. Scott!

Bill Approved by Committee

The Public Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives recently approved HB 1447, which will now be considered by the House as a whole. This bill would return total control of textbook content to the State Board of Education.

Tennessee District Rejects Textbooks Over Evolution

The Blount County Board of Education rejected the adoption of three new biology textbooks because they present evolution but do not present creationism, The Daily Times, Maryville, Tennessee, reported on April 5.
The vote to reject the textbooks passed 2 to 1, with four board members declining to vote. Board members Mike Treadway and Jean Simerly voted to deny the texts and Don McNelly voted to approve them.

Louisiana House Resolution Urges Rejection of "Certain" Textbooks

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.”

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