Legislation & Court Cases

Too often, legislation is introduced that threatens the quality of public science education. Many, if not most, of the laws introduced today are never enacted. However, a few are, the legality of which can and have been challenged in court.

Anti-science education legislation: Most state-level legislative attacks on science education take the form of "academic freedom" bills, of which there are two main types. The first type mandates that teachers be able to discuss "the full range of scientific views regarding" evolution or climate change, and offers students "protection for subscribing to a particular position on views regarding" evolution or climate change. The second type does not purport to be concerned with student rights, and cites the need to help students develop "critical thinking skills" on "controversial issues." Learn more here. 

Court cases: Challenging the teaching of evolution, or requiring equal time for creationism or intelligent design has a long legal history in the United States. NCSE has been involved in many of these court cases in the last 30 years. Learn more here.

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