Minnesota's bill requiring instruction about "the Creator" dies

Minnesota state capitol building.

Minnesota's Senate File 517 — which would, if enacted, have required school districts in the state to "provide instruction to students in grades 9 to 12 exploring the contrast between the scientific facts on how sickness, disease, pain, suffering, and death relate to the existence of complex living organisms, and how sickness, disease, pain, suffering, and death are a consequence imposed by the Creator of complex living organisms" — died in committee on March 10, 2023, when a deadline for bills to pass committee in their house of origin passed.

The purpose of such instruction, according to the bill, is "[t]o advance critical thinking skills in history and science," but it was not specified in what type of classes — history, science, or health — it would be presented. The bill was sponsored by Glenn H. Gruenhagen (R-District 17), a new member of the Senate but a veteran of the House of Representatives, and referred to the Senate Education Policy Committee. While serving in the House of Representatives, Gruenhagen introduced a similar bill, House File 2779 in 2022, which also died in committee.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.