The bill enjoyed bipartisan support from all the Republicans, and over 35% of Democrats, in the Tennessee State Senate. The proposed legislation is a standard academic freedom bill that would apply generally to the teaching of controversial scientific theories, not just evolution.This is disingenuous. This bill is aimed at evolution. Everyone connected to the bill knows this. Descriptions of the bill are always phrased as “evolution and other subjects” but nobody ever mentions the other subjects.
Thus, the bill includes a clear statement that it only applies to teaching science and does not protect teaching religion. Don't expect that to satisfy critics, who will predictably ignore the actual language of the bill and falsely claim it would introduce religion in the classroom.Teaching religion is not the issue. That is a smokescreen. The issue is the teaching of evolution.If it allows teachers to promote young earth creationism in the classroom, it will introduce religion into the classroom, even if it does so through the backdoor. With this bill in place, there is nothing to stop a teacher from teaching what they consider “weaknesses” in a scientific theory, even if those “weaknesses” are not scientifically supported.
Teachers will also interpret the meaning of “curriculum framework” in different ways and if, as was the case in Ohio with John Freshwater, they honestly believe in young earth creationism, that is what they will insert into their classes. Who will hold them accountable if they do that?
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