Resolution Undermining Teaching of Climate Change Introduced in South Dakota

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 ArizonaMaine, and Virginia.


On February 19, HCR 1002 was withdrawn from consideration by its chief sponsor.