Monroe, LA — The Ouachita Parish School Board in Louisiana drew praise this week for adopting a Resolution on Teacher Academic Freedom to Teach Scientific Evidence Regarding Controversial Scientific Subjects. The policy states in part that “teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”
“We’re very happy to see them take a stand protecting the academic freedom of teachers to answer student questions and discuss scientific issues in the classroom,” said Casey Luskin, an attorney and education policy specialist with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. “Teachers are the real winners in this case because they now have clear protection to help their students analyze all aspects of controversial scientific issues without worrying whether or not they will be fired or censored by their school district.”
The policy was passed after teachers expressed a desire for clarification of their rights. Ouachita Parish supported those teachers by noting that the Board “understands that the teaching of some scientific subjects such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy and that some teachers may be unsure of the district’s expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.”
“There is a disturbing trend of teachers, students and scientists coming under attack for questioning evolution,” said Luskin. “Free speech and academic freedom are cherished principles in America and too important to be sacrificed to the intolerant demands of extremists on any issue.”
Discovery Institute is the nation’s leading public policy center that defends the rights of teachers and students to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. The Institute has a national program to defend the rights of scientists, teachers, and students who are being threatened because they dare to raise critical questions about evolution. For more information, visit www.discovery.org/csc.