The United States has no law requiring public school science teachers to teach religious science as a class subject, according to a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Education by a group of state teachers’ unions.
The letter, signed by more than 1,500 state teachers, comes in response to the Trump administration’s directive that all science classrooms in public schools should include religious science and that state and local officials must promote religious science education.
In an email to The Associated Press, the group of teachers said it wants to remind the Trump Administration that its decision “should not be seen as a new requirement for state and public school teachers, but rather as a first step to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to learn about science.”
The teachers’ letter said the federal Department of Justice and the states have long recognized the importance of religious education and that it is “a vital part of preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.”
The letter noted that state governments are required by law to provide access to science curriculum for all students.
In a statement to The AP, the White House said that it “has a long history of encouraging public schools to offer diverse and inclusive teaching environments that reflect the diversity of American families and communities.”