Senate Bill 554 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma State Senate on January 19, 2011, is apparently the third antievolution bill of 2011. Interestingly, two strands of antievolution strategy intersect in SB 554.
First, echoing the still popular “academic freedom” language of antievolution legislation, the bill provides that state and local education administrators “shall not prohibit any teacher from informing students about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses of controversial topics in sciences, when being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula,” where such topics “include but are not limited to biological origins of life and biological evolution.” The bill also provides, “No teacher shall be reassigned, terminated, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against for providing scientific information being taught in accordance with adopted standards and curricula.”
Second, the bill requires the state board of education to adopt “standards and curricula” that echo the flawed portions of the state science standards adopted in Texas in 2009 with respect to the nature of science and, for grades eight through twelve, evolution.
State Senator Josh Brecheen who introduced the bill is quite open about his desire to give his personal religious beliefs “parity to subject matter taught in our public schools”
and in the Oklahoma House of Representatives we have Sally Kern who is once again introducing a bill that seeks to “teach the controversy”
Oklahoma Lawmaker Sally Kern Proposes Bill That Forces Teachers To Question Evolution
State Rep. Sally Kern (R) has proposed the second anti-evolution bill this year in Oklahoma. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” the bill, which will be first considered next month, would require the state and local authorities to “assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review” the scientific strengths and weaknesses of “existing theories.” But the only topics mentioned in the bill as contestable are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
When the adults are so dense, why should the kids try. This may well be the end result