Missouri 2009 HB656

State: Missouri Date introduced: February 10, 2009 Main sponsor: Representative Robert Wayne Cooper Bill Number: HB656 Current Status: No action in House before legislative session ended.

One "academic freedom" bill has been introduced in Missouri in 2009.


EXPLANATION — Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets
[
thus
]
in the above bill is not enacted and is intended
to be omitted from the law. Matter in
bold-face
type in the above bill is proposed la
nguage.
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 656
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES COOPER (Sponsor), SUTHERLAND, EMERY, SANDER,
NIEVES AND COX (Co-sponsors).
0779L.01I
D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
AN ACT
To amend chapter 170, RSMo, by adding theret
o one new section relating to teacher academic
freedom to teach scientific evidence regarding evolution.
Be it enacted by th
e General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 170, RSMo, is amended
by adding thereto one new section, to be
known as section 170.335, to read as follows:
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170.335. 1. The state board of education,
public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, s
uperintendents of schools, school system administrators, and public
2
elementary and secondary school principals
and administrators shall endeavor to create
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an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students
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to explore scientific questions, learn about
scientific evidence, develop critical thinking
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skills, and respond appropriately and respect
fully to differences of opinion about
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controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution. Such educational
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authorities in this state shall
also endeavor to assist teachers
to find more effective ways to
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present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this
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end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review
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in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of
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biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution.
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2. Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary
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school governing authorit
y, superintendent of schools, or
school system administrator, nor
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any public elementary or secondary school pr
incipal or administrato
r shall prohibit any
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teacher in a public school syst
em of this state from helping students understand, analyze,
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H.B. 656 2
critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific
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weaknesses of biological or chemical evolution whenever these subjects are taught within
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the course curriculum schedule.
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3. This section only protects
the teaching of scientific information and this section
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shall not be construed to pr
omote philosophical naturalism or
biblical theology, promote
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natural cause or intelligent cause, promote undirected change or purposeful design,
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promote atheistic or theistic
belief, promote discrimination
for or against a particular set
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of religious beliefs or idea
s, or promote discrimination for or against religion or
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nonreligion. Scientific information includes physical evidence and logical inferences based
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upon evidence.
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4. No later than the start of the
2009-2010 school year,
the department of
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elementary and secondary education shall notify all public school superintendents of the
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provisions of this section. Each superintendent shall then disseminate to all employees
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within his or her school syst
em a copy of this section.
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Other sponsors: Mike Sutherland, Ed Emery, Therese Sander, Brian Nieves, Stanley Cox
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