By Larisa R.G. DeSantis (Contact)
To be delivered to: Governor Bill Haslam
Tennessee is on the verge of turning the clock of science education back to 1925, the days of the Scopes Monkey Trial, and Governor Bill Haslam is the only one who can stop it.
Last week, the Tennessee State Legislature passed legislation (HB 368/SB 893), which allows classroom teachers to position well-established scientific topics such as evolution and global warming as "controversial." The bill is the brainchild of Senator Bo Watson, who claims that the bill will help improve student's critical thinking skills. But leading scholars and science education groups strongly disagree, and have widely condemned the bill.
If this bill becomes law, the students of Tennessee will suffer its consequences. As the American Association for the Advancement of Science explains, “Asserting that there are significant scientific controversies about the overall nature of these concepts when there are none will only confuse students, not enlighten them.” Students confused about well-established scientific facts will have a harder time getting into college, more difficulty getting the high-tech jobs of the 21st century, and will be unprepared to deal with the very real impacts of climate change that are their inheritance. This bill will also damage the state's reputation as a leader in science education, and could harm science and technology jobs in Tennessee.
Governor Haslam has the ability to stop all of this from happening, which is why we strongly urge him to veto the bill today!
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