Curriculum Article

Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 147-149

First online:

Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education: The OOPSIE Compromise—A Big Mistake

  • Eugenie C. ScottAffiliated withNational Center for Science Education Email author 
  • , Glenn BranchAffiliated withNational Center for Science Education

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Opt-out policies are typically invoked to excuse students from activities to which they or their parents may have religious objections, such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, dissecting animals in a laboratory, or attending sex education classes. Occasionally, however, a school or school district allows students to opt out of academic topics, including, sometimes, evolution. Opt-out policies specifically including evolution are a big mistake—for the students who opt out, for their classmates whose studies are disrupted, and especially for their teachers, who cannot fulfill their duty to instruct their charges about biology without emphasizing evolution.


Evolution education Opt-out policies Hatch Amendment Grassley Amendment Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment Theodosius Dobzhansky