4

Judy Burges Defends "Academic Freedom" Bill, Makes It Sound Even Worse

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A bill that would allow teachers to address "weaknesses of existing scientific theories" has been explained by the bill's sponsor, and that explanation isn't exactly comforting.

Part of Senate Bill 1213 bill says that school districts and schools would "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies."

See also:
-Arizona Republicans Proposing "Academic Freedom" (a.k.a. Anti-Evolution) Bill

Another part says, "Teachers shall be allowed to help pupils 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."

Republican state Senator Judy Burges, who didn't respond to New Times' previous request for comment on the bill, explained the reasoning to Valley political reporter Howie Fischer.

For example, for climate change Burges told Fischer, "There should be an opportunity for teachers to step up to the plate and give their opinion, if they have scientific proof, that it isn't happening, that it's a natural phenomena, without retribution."

We're totally sure that a seventh-grade biology teacher in Kingman has all the facts to disprove global warming for the children, and he might even delve into how Sasquatch forged President Obama's birth certificate, if he has time.

As we previously mentioned, the language in SB 1213 declares "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning" as the topics that "can cause controversy," and where Burges believes a teacher's opinion ought to come into play.

The bill's text can be found here, and check out the rest of Fischer's article, as he debunks some of Burges' claims by spending a minute or two exploring facts.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.