A new voice against Oklahoma's antiscience bill

03.17.2017

A young activist in Oklahoma is making headlines for his opposition to the state's Senate Bill 393, which would empower science denial in the classroom.

Ken Nguyen, a high school junior, was aghast to discover the so-called Oklahoma Science Education Act while serving for a page for his state representative. He told KFOR-TV (March 15, 2016), "In my opinion, it's a blank check for teachers to teach whatever they believe is relevant," which might include creationism or climate change denial.

"I felt like I just couldn't sit back and watch [it] happen," Nguyen added. He recruited a number of his fellow students to join him in protesting SB 393 when it is considered on the floor of the senate. (As NCSE previously reported, the bill passed the Senate Education Committee on a 13-1 vote on February 27, 2017.)

Also opposed to SB 393 are the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Council Against Censorship, the National Association of Biology Teachers (PDF), and the National Science Teachers Association, which in a March 7, 2017, alert (PDF) urged its Oklahoma members to recommend their state senators vote against the bill.

SB 393 is not yet scheduled to be heard on the floor of the Senate; March 23, 2017, is the last day on which it could pass the Senate.