Date: January 25th, 2019
Agency: SD, State
Explanation: Interference with Education
Scientist: Climate, Other
On January 25, 2019, a resolution (HCR 1002) was introduced in the South Dakota legislature that could, if adopted, undermine the teaching of climate change in public schools. HCR 1002 would encourage each local school board to adopt a “code of ethics and professional responsibility” that, among other things, prevents public elementary and secondary school teachers from “[a]dvocat[ing] for any issue that is part of a political party platform at the national, state, or local level.” Science education groups and others have expressed concern that this could limit teachers’ ability to discuss climate change, which is dealt with in the federal Democratic party platform and a number of state platforms.
A separate bill (HB 1113) requiring the adoption of codes in the above form was introduced in the South Dakota legislature in February 2019. Similar bills have also been introduced in Arizona, Maine, and Virginia.