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Comparison of McLean and Aguilard "academic freedom" acts

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These are a pair of acts in different states that show remarkable verbal similarity for being "independently" created. Both deal with the "academic freedom" of foisting personal religious beliefs on public education students.

Markup of Arkansas statute showing minimal modification by the Louisiana legislature immediately following the Arkansas ACLU filing McLean[edit]


SECTION 8.§286.1 Short Title.title

This ActSubpart shall be known as the “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution Science Act”

SECTION 6. Legislative Declaration of§286.2. Purpose.

This Legislature enacts this Act for public schools with the purpose of protecting academic freedom for students' differing values and beliefs; ensuring neutrality toward students' diverse religious convictions; ensuring freedom of religious exercise for students and their parents; guaranteeing freedom of belief and speech for students; preventing establishment of Theologically Liberal, Humanist, Nontheist, or Atheist religions; preventing discrimination against students on the basis of their personal beliefs concerning creation and evolution; and assisting students in their search for truth. This Legislature does not have the purpose of causing instruction in religious concepts or making an establishment of religion. This Subpart is enacted for the purposes of protecting academic freedom.

SECTION 4. §286.3. Definitions.

As used in this Act:Subpart unless otherwise clearly indicated, these terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Balanced treatment"; means providing whatever information and instruction in both creation and evolution models the classroom teacher determines is necessary and appropriate to provide insight into both theories in view of the textbooks and other instructional materials available for use in his classroom.

(a) (2) "Creation-science" means the scientific evidences for creation and inferences from those scientific evidences. Creation-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate:

1. Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing;

2. The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism;

3. Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals;

4. Separate ancestry for man and apes;

5. Explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and

6. A relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds.

(b) (3) "Evolution-science" means the scientific evidences for evolution and inferences from those scientific evidences.Evolution-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate:

1. Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife;

2. The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;

3. Emergency (sic) by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds;

4. Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes;

5. Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism; and

6. An inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life.

(c) (4) "Public schools" mean public secondary and elementary schools.

SECTION 1. §286.4. Requirement for Balanced Treatment.Authorization for balanced treatment; requirement for nondiscrimination.

A. Commencing with the 1982-1983 school year, Publicpublic schools within this Statestate shall give balanced treatment to creation-science and to evolution-science. Balanced treatment toof these two models shall be given in classroom lectures taken as a whole for each course, in textbook materials taken as a whole for each course, in library materials taken as a whole for the sciences and taken as a whole for the humanities, and in other educational programs in public schools, to the extent that such lectures, textbooks, library materials, or educational programs deal in any way with the subject of the origin of man, life, the earth, or the universe. When creation or evolution is taught, each shall be taught as a theory, rather than as a proven scientific fact.

SECTION 3. Requirement for Nondiscrimination.

B. Public schools within this State, orstate and their personnel, shall not discriminate, by reducing a grade of a student or by singling out and making public criticism, against publicly criticizing any student who demonstrates a satisfactory understanding of both evolution-science andor creation-science and who accepts or rejects either model in whole or part.

C. No teacher in public elementary or secondary school or instruction in any state-supported university in Louisiana, who chooses to be a creation-scientist or to teach scientific data which points to creationism shall, for that reason, be discriminated against in any way by any school board, college board, or administrator.

SECTION 5 §286.5. Clarifications.

This ActSubpart does not require or permit instruction in any religions doctrine or materials does not require any instruction in the subject of origins, but simply requirespermits instruction in both scientific models (of evolution-science and creation-science) if public schools choose to teach either. This ActSubpart does not require each individual textbook or library book to give balanced treatment to the models of evolution-science and creation-science; it does not require any school books to be discarded. This ActSubpart does not require each individual classroom lecture in a course to give such balanced treatment, but simply requirespermits the lectures as a whole to give balanced treatment; it permits some lectures to present evolution-science and other lectures to present creation-science.

§286.6. Funding of inservice training and materials acquisition

Any public school that elects to present any model of origins shall use existing teacher inservice training funds to prepare teachers of public school courses presenting any model of origins to give balanced treatment to the creation-science model and the evolution-science model. Existing library acquisition funds shall be used to purchase nonreligious library books as are necessary to give balanced treatment to the creation-science model and the evolution-science model.

§286.7. Curriculum development

A. Each city and parish school board shall develop and provide to each public school classroom teacher in the system a curriculum guide on presentation of creation-science.

B. The governor shall designate seven creation-scientists who shall provide resource services in the development of curriculum guides to any city or parish school board upon request. Each such creation-scientist shall be designated from among the full-time faculty members teaching in any college and university in Louisiana. These creation-scientists shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation.

SECTION 7. Legislative Findings of Fact.

This Legislature finds that: :(a) The subject of the origin of the universe, earth, life, and man is treated within many public school courses, such as biology, life science, anthropology, sociology, and often also in physics, chemistry, world history, philosophy, and social studies.

:(b) Only evolution-science is presented to students in virtually all of those courses that discuss the subject of origins. Public schools generally censor creation-science and evidence contrary to evolution.

:(c) Evolution-science is not an unquestionable fact of science, because evolution cannot be experimentally observed, fully verified, or logically falsified, and because evolution-science is not accepted by some scientists.

:(d) Evolution-science is contrary to the religious convictions or moral values or philosophical beliefs of many students and parents, including individuals of many different religious faiths and with diverse moral values and philosophical beliefs.

:(e) Public school presentation of only evolution-science without any alternative model of origins abridges the United States Constitution's protections of freedom of religious exercise and of freedom of belief and speech for students and parents, because it undermines their religious convictions and moral or philosophical values, compels their unconscionable professions of belief, and hinders religious training and moral training by parents.

:(f) Public school presentation of only evolution-science furthermore abridges the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of religion, because it produces hostility toward many Theistic religions and brings preference to Theological Liberalism, Humanism, Nontheistic religions, and Atheism, in that these religious faiths general include a religious belief in evolution.

:(g) Public school instruction in only evolution-science also violates the principle of academic freedom, because it denies students a choice between scientific models and instead indoctrinates them in evolution-science alone.

:(h) Presentation of only one model rather than alternative scientific models of origins is not required by any compelling interest of the State, and exemption of such students from a course or class presenting only evolution-science does not provide an adequate remedy because of teacher influence and student pressure to remain in that course or class.

:(i) Attendance of those students who are at public schools is compelled by law, and school taxes from their parents and other citizens are mandated by law.

:(j) Creation-science is an alternative scientific model of origins and can be presented from a strictly scientific standpoint without any religious doctrine just as evolution-science can, because there are scientists who conclude that scientific data best support creation-science and because scientific evidences and inferences have been presented for creation-science.

:(k) Public school presentation of both evolution-science and creation-science would not violate the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of religion, because it would involve presentation of the scientific evidences and related inferences for each model rather than any religious instruction.

:(l) Most citizens, whatever their religious beliefs about origins, favor balanced treatment in public schools of alternative scientific models of origins for better guiding students in their search for knowledge, and they favor a neutral approach toward subjects affecting the religious and moral and philosophical convictions of students.

SECTION 9. Severability of Provisions.

If any provision of this Act is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions that can be applied in the absence of the invalidated provisions, and the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 10. Repeal of Contrary Laws.

All State laws or parts of State laws in conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.

SECTION 11. Effective Date.

The requirements of the Act shall be met by and may be met before the beginning of the next school year if that is more than six months from the date of enactment, or otherwise one year after the beginning of the next school year, and in all subsequent school years.

See also[edit]