Bill that Would "Gut" Science Education Considered

Mar 19, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Tennessee State Senate will consider a bill Monday that critics say will “gut science education” in the state’s public schools.

Senate bill SB0839 would allow classroom teachers the freedom to “analyze, critique, and review…the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”

ACLU Tennessee state chapter Director Hedy Weinberg said in a press release Sunday that the bill is simply another attempt by Christian conservatives to provide legal cover for teachers who want to teacher Creationism.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Bo Watson of Chattanooga, said that’s simply not the case.

“That’s been a mischaracterization by the scientific community and others. That’s unfortunate because science is all about challenging conventional thinking and challenging our sense of reality and trying to put empirical definitions around what we believe reality to be.”

Weinberg said the bill will put Tennessee school children at a disadvantage in an increasingly competitive global economy and may make the state less attractive to high-tech firms.

The bill passed the House last year.