Activists were waging a last-minute battle Thursday to scuttle a bill that they say would gut science education in Tennessee by allowing public schools to cast doubt on widely-accepted scientific principles, including biological evolution and climate change.
“What it does is bring the political controversy into the classroom, where there is no scientific controversy,” said Larisa DeSantis, who teaches in the Department of Earth and Environment at Vanderbilt University. “It’s scary, as a parent and as an educator.”
DeSantis spoke to msnbc.com from the office building of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam just before delivering a petition signed by more than 4,000 citizens calling on him to veto HB368. The bill easily passed the state Legislature and now awaits the governor’s signature to become law. Haslam has indicated he would probaby sign the legislation.
Source: MSNBC and @NCSE on Twitter
Hedy Weinberg is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. Hedy Weinberg: Gov. Bill Haslam should veto ‘Monkey Bill’ » Knoxville News Sentinel.
Tennessee is dangerously close to enacting a law that would gut science education in public schools. The “Monkey Bill” sailed through the Legislature and is now on Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk awaiting his review. The bill is adapted from a template offered by the conservative, Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which promotes intelligent design. As a force for moderation, Haslam should veto this legislation.
To pass such a bill is to make Tennessee a laughing stock of the world, just as Kansas was with an education bill that appeared anti-evolution.
Also, they could be aiming for heaps of legal trouble down the road.
Why do this? Just to look good for some constituents? That’s tremendously selfish and short sighted. Shame on you Tennessee.
UPDATE: (10-Apr-2012) This bill has been enacted though the Governor did not sign it (or veto it). Yeah, why look responsible for something so stupid. Bit cowardly, I’d say.
Probably contributing to Haslam’s unwillingness to sign the bill were the protests from state and national civil liberties, educational, and scientific groups, the editorials against the bill from the state’s major newspapers, and the petition effort organized by Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University, which garnered thousands of signatures calling for a veto of HB 368.