McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project






REV. BILL MCLEAN, ET AL.                                           PLAINTIFFS 

VS.                                 NO. LR-C-81-322 

STATE OF ARKANSAS, ET AL.                                          DEFENDANTS




1. Textbook selection in Arkansas is carried on within

the framework of Ark. Stat. Ann. §§80-1704 through 1717.

Generally, that law requires that the State Department of

Education (herein Department) select a committee of nine

persons in each academic area in which textbooks and other

instructional materials are being selected. Committee

members must have five years teaching or supervisory expe­-

rience with three years teaching or supervisory experience

in the areas in which they are serving. Committee members

make recommendations to the Board of the Department which is

responsible for adopting, modifying or rejecting the

recommendations of the committees.. The adoption process is

accomplished in five year cycles, with the adopted lists be

effective throughout the five year period. There are statutory

provisions for supplementing the lists during the five year


2. There are separate committees in each subject area

for grades K-8 and 9-12. The last-adoptions in science were

in 1979 and the next science adoption committee will be

selected in 1984. In 1977 the Department devised and

published a document entitled "Science Guidelines for

Arkansas-Secondary Schools." Among the biology concepts

included in that document are:



Evolution, the causes and changes in population

gene pools and how a biologist studies relationships

among organisms and their ancestors as evidence

supporting the theory of evolution. (p7)


How the principle of population genetics can be

used to explain the evolution of adaptions and

of new groups of organisms. (p7)


The biology concepts contained no reference to creation or

creation-science. The earth science concepts include:


The history of the planet earth as shown in

evolutionary changes and radioactive dating. (p9)


An awareness of the enormity and complexity of

space. (p9)


The theory of plate tectonics and continental

drift as they relate to other concepts. (p9)


3. Once the list submitted by the committee is approved

it is distributed to each school district in Arkansas, which then

undertakes it own selection process. Each school

district makes its own decisions with regard to the selection

of a text, but it may receive state funds for the purchase

of texts or instructional materials, only if that text or

material appears on the lists of adopted texts and materials.


4. Each of the-twenty biology texts currently on

the 1979 state approved list contains references to evolution. A

list of those texts and the references in them to evolution

are attached to this Stipulation as Exhibit 1. Only five of

the approved texts contain references to creation. Copies

of each of the references to creation within those texts are

attached to this Stipulation as Exhibit 2.


5. The process for adding materials to the approved

list requires that five school districts petition the

Director of the Department to have materials added to the

list. The Director then appoints a committee of three

specialists in the area in which the materials are sought to

be added, to make recommendations to the Board regarding

inclusion of the additional material on the approved list.



6. The Department has not taken any steps to review

creation-science materials for possible inclusion on the

approved list. There have not been requests from sufficient

districts to require the Director to appoint a committee to

study the addition of creation-science materials to the

approved lists. The Creation Science Research Center has

submitted several works to the State Department of Education

for review, although the authorities at the Department have

undertaken no comprehensive review. No other publisher has

contacted the Department with regard to submitting materials

on creation-science.


7. The Department has taken the position that Act 590

does not require it to make a selection by March 15, 1981

with regard to teaching materials to implement the requirements

of Act 590. The Director has not appointed any committee to

review creation-science materials for inclusion on the

approved lists.


    1. Arkansas law provides that all schools shall teach

"such subjects as may be designated by the State Board of

Education or required by law." Ark. Stat. Ann. S80-160

(Repl. 1980).

    2. The following courses are the only courses required

by law to be taught in Arkansas Schools, either for each

school district to maintain accreditation or by statute:

a. American History

b. Arkansas History and Government

c. Physical Education

d. 4 units of English

e. 3 units of Mathematics

f. 3 units of Social Studies

g. 2 units of Science

h. 3 units of Practical Arts 



3. The following information is the only information

required by statute to be taught in all Arkansas schools: 

a.    The effects of alcohol and narcotics on

the human body;

b. Conservation of national resources;

c. Bird Week;

d. Fire prevention; and

e. Flag etiquette.




    1. Act 590 was introduced in the Arkansas General

Assembly by Senator James L. Hoisted on February 24, 1981

when it was read for the-first and second times. The bill

was immediately referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


    2. Senator Hoisted was and is a member of the Senate

Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee met on

March 3, 1981 to consider Senate Bill 482 and recommended

that the bill receive a, "do pass." No witnesses appeared

before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 3rd either

for or against the bill.


    3. On March 12, 1981, the bill was brought up in the

Senate for consideration on its third and final reading.

After minimal debate (lasting only a few minutes), there

were only two votes against the bill and twenty-two votes in

favor of the bill. On the same date Senate Bill 482 was

transmitted to the House of Representatives.


    4. The bill was read in the House for the first time

on March 12th and for the second time on March 13th.

The bill was referred to the House Education Committee and on

Friday, March 13 the committee met for thirty minutes prior

to the beginning of the regular session of the House at

10:00 o'clock. Only two bills were under consideration by

the Education Committee that day and Senate Bill 482 was

considered second. There was approximately fifteen minutes




left before the House was to go into session when debate

began on Senate Bill 482. The first speaker was Larry

Fisher, a science and mathematics teacher from Jacksonville

High School in Pulaski County, Arkansas who spoke in favor

of Senate Bill 482. State Representative Michael Wilson

spoke against the bill for the same length of time.


    5. The acting Chairman of the Education Committee

requested a vote on whether to recommend the bill as, "do

pass" and on a voice vote the acting Chairman ruled that the

Motion had passed. One of the members of the Committee

requested that a role call be taken and that request was

refused. There was no discussion of the bill-in committee.


    6. On Tuesday, March 17, 1981 the bill was brought up

for a third and final reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill was passed by a vote of sixty-nine in favor and

eighteen opposed and was transmitted to the Governor's

Office on March 18, 1981, the same day that the Legislature

adjourned sine die. Governor Frank White signed the bill on

March 19, 1981.


Respectfully submitted,


Bruce J. Ennis, Jr.

Jack D. Novik

American Civil Liberties Union

132. West 43rd Street

New York, New York 10036


Philip E. Kaplan

Kaplan, Hollingsworth, Brewer

and Bilheimer, P.A.

Suite 955, Tower Building Little Rock, Arkansas 72201




Cearley, Gitchel, Mitchell

and Roachell

1014 West Third Street P.O. Box 1510


Little Rock, Arkansas 72203



    Robert M. Cearley, Jr.


Attorneys for Plaintiffs Attorney General for the

State of Arkansas



   Attorneys for Defendants



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