IMAGE: Al Gore
Eric Lee  /  Paramount Classics via AP file
Former Vice President Al Gore is shown in a scene from his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
updated 10/2/2007 4:02:08 PM ET 2007-10-02T20:02:08

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's Oscar-winning climate change documentary can be shown in English schools, a judge said Tuesday, even though he believes it promotes partisan political views.

Educational authorities are making Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," available to all English secondary schools, a decision challenged in court by a part-time school official who calls the film inaccurate and biased.

High Court Judge Michael Burton said Gore's movie could be shown if the written guidance for teachers bundled with the program was changed to prevent Gore's views from being promoted to children. Earlier Tuesday, the government said it was rewriting its advice.

"With the guidance as now amended, it will not be unlawful for the film to be shown," Burton said.

The judge said, however, that he felt the film promoted "partisan political views." He did not elaborate.

Burton's comments, following a four-day hearing, were not an official ruling and he said a final judgment would probably be announced next week.

He said he decided to indicate what his decision would be because he felt schools needed to know in what circumstances they can show the film. During the case, schools were not required to stop showing the documentary.

It was a partial victory for claimant Stewart Dimmock, a truck driver from Dover, a port city in southeastern England, who works part-time on a school board. Dimmock has said he is fighting to have his children to be educated in an environment "free from bias and political spin."

"Climate change is important,' he added, "but it should be taught to children in a neutral and measured manner. Indoctrinating school children in this manner is unprecedented and unacceptable."

While "An Inconvenient Truth" will still be shown, the judge said British teachers will have to be careful not to endorse Gore's political views when they present it to pupils.

The schools project was announced in February by the government's education and environment departments. It was planned that the DVD would go to more than 3,500 secondary schools in England as part of a "sustainable schools year of action."

Then-Education Secretary Alan Johnson said that influencing the opinions of children was crucial to developing a long-term public view on the environment.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments