"Controversial issues" bill in South Dakota

02.01.2019

A resolution in the South Dakota legislature would urge the adoption of a code of ethics for public school teachers — with a provision that could adversely affect science education.

House Bill 1113 (PDF), introduced on January 25, 2019 and referred to the House Education Committee, would, if enacted, require local school boards to adopt a code of ethics to prevent their teachers from engaging in what it describes as "political or ideological indoctrination."

As Ars Technica (January 29, 2019) explained with reference to a spate of similar measures, "the bills would call for teachers not to advocate on any topics that have appeared in the platform of a state political party. ... Which is problematic, given that a large number of state party platforms specifically mention evolution and climate change." 

Similar measures currently active include South Dakota's House Concurrent Resolution 1002, Virginia's House Joint Resolution 684, and Arizona's House Bill 2002.