SVP Statement about Louisiana's new "Science Education Act"
Today the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), the world’s leading organization of vertebrate paleontologists, urges Louisiana citizens and legislators to repeal the “Louisiana Science Education Act” and to prohibit the injection of religious content in America’s public school classrooms. The SVP added its voice to those of other leading scientific societies, scientists and citizens concerned about Louisiana’s new “Science Education Act” (the Act).
The Act was drafted under the guise of “academic freedom” and appeals to cherished values of fairness and free speech. However, SVP says the Act intends to garner support and legal protection for the introduction of religious, creationist concepts, including intelligent design, in public school science curricula. By permitting instructional materials that are not reviewed by the state’s science standards committees, the Louisiana Act and those like it encourage teachers and administrators to work outside these standards. This makes it possible for local school boards to define science and science education to suit their own agendas, thereby compromising the quality of science education for students, and allowing religious discrimination in America’s public school science classrooms.