Tennessee, 1973 - SB 394
A bill that states that any biology textbook that includes ideas of evolution must state that it is only a theory and not a scientific fact, plus provide equal space to discuss other theories of origin, including the Biblical narrative. Occult and satanical teachings are expressly excluded. The Bible, since it will be referred to as a reference book and not a textbook, is not required to put a similar disclaimer.
On March 26, 1973, Senators Hamilton, Nave, et al. introduced Senate Bill No. 394. This bill was referred to the Committee on Education which recommended that the bill should pass. After adopting two amendments, S. B. No. 394 passed by a vote of 29 to 1 on April 18. S.B. No. 394 was referred to the House and on April 26, S. B. No. 394 was substituted for H. B. No. 597. After adopting 5 of 7 amendments considered, the House passed S. B. No. 394 by a vote of 69 to 16 on April 26. The Senate approved the 5 amendments the House had adopted by a large majority on April 30, and forwarded the bill to the Governor. The Governor returned S. B. No.394 without his signature. However, the bill became a law without the Governor's signature, as authorized by Article III , Section 18, of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. This law became Chapter 377 of the 1973 Public Acts of Tennessee.
SENATE BILL NO. 394
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
An Act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-2008, relative to selection of textbooks. Be it entitled by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee :
Section 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-2008, is amended by adding the following paragraph: Any biology textbook used for teaching in the public schools which expresses an opinion of, or relates to a theory about origins or creation of man and his world shall be prohibited from being used as a textbook in such system unless it specifically states that it is a theory as to the origin and creation of man and his world and is not represented to be scientific fact. Any textbook so used in the public education system which expresses an opinion or relates to a theory or theories shall give in the same textbook and under the same subject commensurate attention to, and an equal amount of emphasis on, the origins and creation of man and his world as the same is recorded in other theories, including but not limited to, the Genesis Account in the Bible. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to use of any textbook now legally in use, until the beginning of the school year 1975-1976; provided however, that the textbook requirements stated above shall in no way diminish the duty of the state textbook commission to prepare a list of approved standard editions of textbooks for use in the public schools of the state as provided in this section. Each local school board may use textbooks or supplementary material as approved by the State Board of Education to carry out the provisions of this section. The teaching of all occult or satanical beliefs of human origin is expressly excluded from this act.
Section 2. Provided however that the Holy Bible shall not be defined as a textbook, but is hereby declared to be a reference work, and shall not be required to carry the disclaimer above provided for textbooks.
Section 3. The provisions of this Act are hereby declared to be severable; and if any of its sections, provisions, clauses, or parts be held unconstitutional or void, then the remainder of this act shall continue in full force and effect, it being the legislative intent now hereby declared that this act would have been adopted even if such unconstitutional or void matter had not been included herein.
Section 4. This Act shall take effect upon becoming law, the public welfare requiring it.