x
Breaking News
More () »

Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Arkansas House committee advances creationism, transgender and religious freedom bills

The bills would allow the teaching of creationism in schools, outline a procedure for teachers to address transgender students, and much more.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The House Education Committee advanced bills Tuesday (April 6) that would allow the teaching of creationism in schools, outline a procedure for teachers to address transgender students, protect the types of flags flown at public schools, and broaden religious speech on campuses.

House Bill 1701 by Rep. Mary Bentley, R-Perryville, would allow K-12 public school teachers to teach the biblical story of creationism as a theory for how the Earth came to exist. Teachers would not be required to teach creationism, which the Book of Genesis describes as happening in six days, culminating in the creation of humanity. It passed on a voice vote.

Bentley said many teachers had requested such legislation. She said the Founding Fathers mentioned the Creator in the Declaration of Independence and allowed creation to be taught in classrooms. She said the odds of the Earth arising naturally are so remote that students are being done a disservice by not learning the creation story.

According to Talk Business & Politics journalist Roby Brock, HB 1592 and HB 1701 are both on the House calendar Wednesday (April 7). They deal with teaching creationism in schools and banning Planned Parenthood from teaching health education in schools, both controversial in committee. 

Click here to continue reading from our content partners Talk Business & Politics. 

RELATED: Arkansas lawmakers override Gov. Hutchinson's veto on youth transgender care

RELATED: Gov. Hutchinson vetoes bill that would ban transgender youth treatment