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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/03/24

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Bad news from Oklahoma, where the antiscience bill passed the Senate,
despite a spirited denunciation from a high school junior.


Oklahoma's Senate Bill 393, which would empower science denial in the
classroom, was passed on a 34-10 vote by the Senate on March 22, 2017,
despite the protests of state and local organizations of scientists
and science teachers.

SB 393 would, if enacted, in effect allow science teachers with
idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased, while
preventing responsible educational authorities from intervening. No
scientific topics are specifically identified as controversial, but
the fact that the main sponsor of SB 393 is Josh Brecheen (R-District
6), who introduced similar legislation that directly targeted
evolution in previous legislative sessions, is suggestive.

The bill was previously passed, with slight amendments, by the Senate
Education Committee on February 13, 2017. Now passed by the Senate, it
is expected to move to the House Common Education Committee.

For the text of Oklahoma's Senate Bill 393 as passed by the Senate (PDF), visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Oklahoma, visit: 


A young activist in Oklahoma is making headlines for his opposition to
the state's Senate Bill 393, which would empower science denial in the

Ken Nguyen, a high school junior, was aghast to discover the so-called
Oklahoma Science Education Act while serving for a page for his state
representative. He told KFOR-TV (March 15, 2016), "In my opinion, it's
a blank check for teachers to teach whatever they believe is
relevant," which might include creationism or climate change denial.

"I felt like I just couldn't sit back and watch [it] happen," Nguyen
added. He recruited a number of his fellow students to join him in
protesting SB 393 when it is considered on the floor of the senate.
(As NCSE previously reported, the bill passed the Senate Education
Committee on a 13-1 vote on February 27, 2017.)

Also opposed to SB 393 are the American Institute of Biological
Sciences, the National Council Against Censorship, the National
Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Science Teachers
Association, which in a March 7, 2017, alert (PDF) urged its Oklahoma
members to recommend their state senators vote against the bill.

SB 393 is not yet scheduled to be heard on the floor of the Senate;
March 23, 2017, is the last day on which it could pass the Senate.

For KFOR-TV's story, visit: 

For the various organizational statements against SB 393 (all PDF), visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Oklahoma, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Emily Schoerning presenting new data from NCSE's Science Booster Clubs: 

For NCSE's blog, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971 

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