Members of Louisiana’s House Education Committee voted on Wednesday to keep the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act, a 1981 law which allows teachers to give equal weight to the teachings of creationism and evolutionary science in the classroom.
The law, which the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in 1987 in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, ruling that it violates First Amendment rights, has remained on state statutes since its drafting in 1981.
The text of the law states that “balanced treatment” of creationism and evolutionary theory entails “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.”
On Wednesday, the House Education Committee voted against an amendment, proposed by Dan Claitor (R-District 16), to repeal the act.
The amendment served as a “rider” to Senate bill 205, which addressed language immersion programs in the state’s public schools, and would have deleted the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act from the state statute.
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