You are here

One down in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's Senate Bill 1765 (PDF), which would, if enacted, have deprived administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies," died in the Senate Education Committee on February 24, 2014, when a deadline for senate bills to pass committee expired. The sole senate sponsor of SB 1765 was Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation in two previous legislative sessions; Gus Blackwell (R-District 61) is listed as its sponsor in the House. The bill was opposed by the National Association of Biology Teachers and the American Institute of Biological Sciences, as well as by the grassroots Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education.

Still alive in the Oklahoma legislature is the similar House Bill 1674 (PDF), sponsored by Gus Blackwell (R-District 61) and Sally Kern (R-District 84); Josh Brecheen is listed as its sponsor in the Senate. Writing in The Oklahoma Daily (March 6, 2013), Richard E. Broughton of the University of Oklahoma described HB 1674 as "a 'Trojan horse' bill specifically crafted by an out-of-state, religious think tank to open the door for the teaching of religious or political views in school science classes. ... HB 1674 would write false claims about science into state law, contradicting the wealth of scientific evidence, our own curriculum standards and the expertise of Oklahoma's scientists and teachers."