Antiscience bill progresses in Oklahoma

03.22.2017

Oklahoma's Senate Bill 393 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, was passed on a 34-10 vote by the Senate on March 22, 2017, despite the protests of state and national organizations of scientists and science teachers..

SB 393 would, if enacted, in effect allow science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased, while preventing responsible educational authorities from intervening. No scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, but the fact that the main sponsor of SB 393 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted evolution in previous legislative sessions, is suggestive.

The bill was previously passed, with slight amendments, by the Senate Education Committee on February 13, 2017. Now passed by the Senate, it is expected to move to the House Common Education Committee.