Maine's "controversial issues" measure defeated

03.01.2019

Maine's Legislative Document 589 (House Paper 433), which would have required the adoption of a code of ethics for public school teachers with a provision that could have adversely affected science education, was unanimously rejected by the House Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on February 28, 2019, according to the Bangor Daily News (February 28, 2019).

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." 

Besides the Maine bill, whose sole sponsor was Larry Lockman (R-District 137), four other such measures have been introduced in 2019. All are now defunct: South Dakota's House Bill 1113 and Virginia's House Joint Resolution 684 were defeated in committee; South Dakota's House Concurrent Resolution 1002 was withdrawn by its chief sponsor; and Arizona's House Bill 2002 died in committee.