ERIC Number: ED232307
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Conservative Pressures on Curriculum.
Bryson, Joseph E.
Pressure on the public schools is coming from conservative New Right religious-political groups. Their concerns focus on: (1) secular humanism--a Godless form of religion that the public schools are alleged to be teaching; (2) scientific evolution versus creationism--the balanced treatment statute; (3) Bible clubs and prayer in the classroom; and (4) censorship of textbooks, library books, and instructional materials. In the first area, courts have ruled that secular humanism cannot be Godless and be a religion and, in the most recent litigation, ruled that teaching evolution is not secular humanism. Scientific creationism has a background of litigation. A new form of the concept in statutes requiring a balanced treatment between scientific evolution and scientific creationism has been declared unconstitutional in Arkansas, has been referred to the Louisiana state court, and at present is a legislative proposal in some 19 other states. In matters of censorship the courts most often favor school boards but become involved when the following constitutional issues are in question: (1) academic freedom of teachers, (2) students' right to read and receive information, (3) parents' right to direct their children's education, and (4) violation of the establishment of religion clause. (MLF)
Descriptors: Censorship, Court Litigation, Creationism, Curriculum Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Evolution, Federal Courts, Instructional Materials, Politics of Education, Religious Cultural Groups, School Law, School Libraries, State Church Separation, State Courts
Not available separately; see EA 016 000.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.