Opponents Say Education Bill Promotes Creationism in Schools

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RICHMOND
(WRIC) – The sponsor of an education bill that critics say promotes creationism
is science classes is arguing back.

He
says it's all about protecting teachers and giving them some flexibility if
students question scientific norms like evolution or global warming, but those
against the measure say it's clearly about bringing God into the classroom.

Delegate Dickie Bell, the
bill's sponsor, says he was approached by the Virginia Christian Alliance,
saying the measure is meant to protect teachers.

“It has been somewhat
misrepresented and distorted by different folks and they've made it to sound like
something it really isn't,” he says. “If something becomes controversial or a
different point of view is brought up in that class, we know that there are
teachers who don't feel comfortable allowing that discussion to take place.”

But those opposing the
measure like the Secular Coalition for Virginia say it undermines science.

“Scientific controversies,
which is really code for creationism, even though that's not really a
scientific controversy, it's a religious controversy,” says Autumn
Reinhardt-Simpson. “If we start teaching our students or allowing teachers to teach
things like creationism, they're going very unprepared into the modern world.”

Bell says while the bill
would allow students to challenge topics like evolution and global warming, he
believes it helps critical thinking.

“It's important that we
hear different perceptions,” he says. “I think that's how our young people
learn to deal with a very difficult world outside.”

“All those protections are
already in place,” Reinhardt-Simpson says. “This bill is completely
unnecessary.”

This
is actually part of a national debate as some other states have already passed
similar bills.

 

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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