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

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.