New Mexico, 2007 - HB 506

State: New Mexico Date introduced: January 21, 2007 Main sponsor: W. C. "Dub" Williams Bill Number: HB 506 Current Status: Postponed indefinitely in committee; legislative session ended

A stripped-down academic freedom act. Focuses on "biological origins," rather than the more typical list.

HOUSE BILL 506

48TH LEGISLATURE - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - FIRST SESSION, 2007

INTRODUCED BY W. C. "Dub" Williams

AN ACT

RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; PROVIDING FOR SCHOOL SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS AND RULES REGARDING THE TEACHING OF THEORIES OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

Section 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:

"[NEW MATERIAL] TEACHING OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.--

A. The department shall adopt rules that:

(1) give teachers the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory and protect teachers from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so; and

(2) encourage students to critically analyze scientific information, give them the right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins and provide that no student shall be penalized in any way because the student subscribes to a particular position on biological origins.

B. For purposes of this section:

(1) "biological origins" means the origin, history and diversity of life and living organisms; and

(2) "scientific information" means information derived from observation, experimentation and analyses regarding various aspects of the material world conducted to determine the nature of or principles behind the aspects being studied. "Scientific information" does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs or doctrines. Scientific information may have religious or philosophical implications and still be scientific in nature."

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