Antiscience legislation in Oklahoma

12.03.2018

Oklahoma's Senate Bill 14 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, was prefiled in the Oklahoma legislature.

Styled "the Oklahoma Science Education Act," the bill would ostensibly provide Oklahoma's teachers with the right 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," while prohibiting state and local administrators from exercising supervisory responsibility.

No particular theories are identified as controversial, and the sole sponsor, David Bullard (R-District 6), is new to the legislature, but his predecessor, Josh Brecheen, notoriously filed a string of similar bills — most recently Senate Bill 393 in 2017, which passed the Senate before failing to receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives — that were apparently aimed specifically at evolution.

The legislative session begins on February 4, 2019; concerned Oklahomans are urged to get in touch with Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education.