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Tell Florida legislators and Gov. Scott: Stand up for science

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Sign the petition to Florida legislators and Gov. Scott:

“Stand up for science in Florida schools. Oppose S.B. 1210 and H.B. 989.”

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    Tell Florida legislators and Gov. Scott: Stand up for science

    A bill moving through the Florida legislature would allow religious extremists to challenge textbooks that cover evolution and climate change. Senate Bill (S.B.) 1210/House Bill (H.B.) 9891 could leave Florida’s students unprepared for higher education or careers that require a scientific background.

    This anti-science bill has sailed through its first hurdles to becoming law. The Florida Senate Committee on Education recommended the bill unanimously with a 9-0 vote, and the Florida House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee did the same with a 14-0 vote. Both Republicans and Democrats voted for the bill.

    Unless there’s a strong public outcry against right-wing extremists’ latest assault on science, many Florida students could soon be learning a curriculum shaped by political and religious dogma rather than academic standards.

    Tell Florida legislators and Gov. Scott: Stand up for science in the classroom. Oppose S.B. 1210/H.B. 989.

    The bill would allow parents and even residents without children in school to challenge instructional materials they find “non-balanced” or “inflammatory.” A hearing officer, whose qualifications are not explained in the bill, would decide on the merits of the challenge. If the bill passes, anti-science conservatives could wage an onslaught of attacks against school districts – with students and teachers losing out.

    The right-wing extremists pushing the bill have submitted affidavits with examples of materials they find offensive. In addition to stopping children from learning about science, the bill would also allow for the censorship of supposedly “pornographic” Toni Morrison novels and social studies lessons that acknowledge Native Americans’ perspectives on Thanksgiving.1 They slam a textbook discussion of evolution by saying it lacks “a balanced discussion of the biblical explanation.”2

    Beyond disempowering educators and wasting taxpayer resources, allowing religious extremists to censor children’s educational materials would set a dangerous precedent. At a time when many states are aiming to help students qualify for careers in STEM fields (those based on science, technology, engineering and math), conservative extremists in Florida are working to send students back to the Stone Age instead of preparing them for the future. That’s why the bill has been opposed by Florida Citizens for Science, the National Center for Science Education and Climate Parents.

    Tell Florida legislators and Gov. Scott: Stand up for science in the classroom. Oppose S.B. 1210/H.B. 989.

    References:

    1. Sen. Tom Lee, “Senate Bill 1210,” Florida Legislature, introduced Feb. 24, 2017.
    2. Florida Citizens’ Alliance, “Florida Curriculum Assessment,” Oct. 2016.
    3. Keith Flaugh, “Florida History: People And Nations,” Florida Citizens’ Alliance, accessed April 7, 2017.