Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Anti-science legislation in 2017 Oklahoma legislature

Action alert (updated March 23):  This year we are asking that you cc:  oklascience@gmail.com on any emails you send so we can keep track.

SB 393 passed the Senate by a vote of 34-10 on March 22.  SB 393 passed the Senate Education Committee on  Monday, February 27.   The vote was 13-1.  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 defeated in the South Dakota Senate.  Opponents of that bill are calling it the “Alternative Facts Bill”.   Letters in opposition to the bill have been sent by AIBS, NSTA, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, NABT, and the National Coalition Against Censorship.  You may want to use that terminology for SB 393 as well.  See this analysis of the bill for additional talking points.  The bill will now be sent to the House.  Please contact the House leadership, Speaker Charles McCall, 557-7412, charles.mccall@okhouse.gov, and Speaker Pro Tem Harold Wright, 557-7325, harold.wright@okhouse.gov, urging them to not assign the bill to committee.

More info on the vote at NCSE.  Stan Rice has posted a video on YouTube about how Brecheen’s bill assumes that science and religion have to be in conflict.

SB 450 passed the Senate by a vote of 41-3 on March 22 with only Senators Floyd, Pittman, and Sparks voting against. the bill.  SB 450 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 21.  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.  See this analysis of a previously introduced bill for additional talking points.  The bill will now be sent to the House.  Please contact the House leadership, Speaker Charles McCall, 557-7412, charles.mccall@okhouse.gov, and Speaker Pro Tem Harold Wright, 557-7325, harold.wright@okhouse.gov, urging them to not assign the bill to committee.

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

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


0
Connecting
Please wait...
Send a message

Sorry, we aren't online at the moment. Leave a message.

Your name
* Email
* Describe your issue
Login now

Need more help? Save time by starting your support request online.

Your name
* Email
* Describe your issue
We're online!
Feedback

Help us help you better! Feel free to leave us any additional feedback.

How do you rate our support?