Our title may surprise you, because we failed to report that Virginia had been considering such a bill. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) had mentioned it, but it escaped our notice.
Today they posted “Controversial issues” resolution in Virginia dies. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Virginia’s House Joint Resolution 684, which would urge local school boards to adopt a code of ethics to prevent “political or ideological indoctrination,” died in the House Rules Committee on February 5, 2019, after a subcommittee voted 7-0 to recommend “passing [it] by indefinitely.”
That resolution was the same sort of thing we’ve been seeing in other states this year. The worst of it says, with our bold font:
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Board of Education be requested to establish a code of ethics and professional responsibility for educators in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That such code of ethics and professional responsibility provide that no public elementary or secondary school teacher, regardless of continuing contract status, be permitted during class time to do the following:
2. Endorse, support, or oppose any local, state, or federal legislation or regulation, regardless of whether such legislation or regulation is pending, proposed, or enacted;
3. Endorse, support, or oppose any local, state, or federal court case or judicial action, regardless of whether such court case or judicial action is pending, proposed, or decided;
7. Advocate for any issue that is part of a political party platform at the national, state, or local level;
Amazing, isn’t it? If such a thing became law, teachers couldn’t mention any existing statutes, court decisions, or current political issues. That would outlaw discussion of a huge number of issues, certainly including evolution. What would be left for history and civics teachers talk about? Rainbows and unicorns?
NCSE also tells us:
HJR 684’s only sponsor was Dave A. LaRock (R-District 33), who introduced a similar resolution, HJR 117, in 2018, which also died in committee.
Here’s the guy’s page at the legislature’s website: David A. LaRock. His education is: “Oswego High School and Canton Agricultural and Technical College, NY.” There’s also a link to his campaign website, which says nothing about his education. He builds 2 or 3 houses a year, and he’s active in his church. That’s about it.
Okay, there you are. The good news is that we don’t need to worry about creationism in Virginia this year — at least not yet. But there’s plenty going on in other states, so stay tuned to this blog.
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