Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Two science bills have been filed for the 2017 Oklahoma legislature, both in the Senate.

Action alert:  Both SB 393 and SB 450 have been assigned to Senate committees.  Please contact the committee members with your opposition to the bills.  This year we are asking that you cc:  oklascience@gmail.com on any emails you send so we can keep track.

SB 393 has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.  SB 393 by Josh Brecheen,  the Oklahoma Science Education Act. The bill says public school officials shall “endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. Teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” This is standard creationist language to allow anti-science information into the classroom. The bill is nearly identical to SB 1322 introduced last year which was never heard in the Senate Education Committee. More info at NCSE and the Sensuous Curmudgeon.  The bill is very similar to a bill making its way through the South Dakota legislature.  Opponents of that bill are calling it the “Alternative Facts Bill”.  You may want to use that terminology for SB 393 as well.  Here is the list of contact information for that committee:

Gary Stanislawski, 521-5624, stanislawski(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Ron Sharp, 521-5539, sharp(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Roger Thompson, 521-5588, thompson(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Mark Allen, 521-5576, allen(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Micheal Bergstrom, 521-5561, bergstrom(at)oksenate(dot)gov

J.J. Dossett, 521-5566, dossett(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Tom Dugger, 521-5572, dugger(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Eddie Fields, 521-5581, efields(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Kyle Loveless, 521-5618, loveless(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Dewayne Pemberton, 521-5533, pemberton(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Anastasia Pittman, 521-5531, Pittman(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Paul Scott, 521-5522, paul(dot)scott(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Jason Smalley, 521-5547, smalley(at)oksenate(dot)gov

Anthony Sykes, 521-5569, lewis(at)oksenate(dot)gov

A list of emails can be found  here.

SB 450 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 450 by Allen, creating the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act. Although the bill does not specifically address science education, it could possibly be used to allow non-scientific answers to science questions  The bill is unnecessary to protect student expression of religious viewpoints, because most of the provisions of the bill already exist in current law. It sets forth rights already guaranteed by the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions and federal and Oklahoma state law,  as well as recommendations made in federal guidelines.  A similar bill passed in Texas several years ago, but has not been acted upon by any Texas school district.  Here is the list of contact information for that committee:

Anthony Sykes,521-5569,lewis(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Nathan Dahm,521-5551,Dahm(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Julie Daniels,521-5634,daniels(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Kim David,521-5590,david(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Kay Floyd,521-5610,Floyd(at)oksenate(dot)gov
David Holt,521-5636,holt(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Joe Newhouse,521-5625,newhouse(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Adam Pigh,521-5622,pugh(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Ralph Shortey,521-5557,shortey(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Jason Smalley,521-5547,smalley(at)oksenate(dot)gov
John Sparks,521-5553,sparks(at)oksenate(dot)gov
Rob Standridge,521-5535,standridge(at)oksenate(dot)gov

A list of emails can be found here.

OkieFunk has commentary on both bills as well as a shout-out to OESE.

 

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