Representatives vote down SD science teaching legislation

February 25, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota House has voted down a bill that would have allowed teachers to decide how much skepticism to inject into lessons on scientific topics such as climate change.

Representatives voted 46-21 Monday to reject the measure. Republican Sen. Phil Jensen, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said previously that the measure would provide protections from termination to teachers who want to help students learn to think critically.

The bill said teachers couldn’t be stopped from helping students understand, analyze or critique “in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses” of scientific information presented in classes aligned with South Dakota’s educational content standards.

Republican Rep. Timothy Johns, an opponent, says the bill would allow teachers to present facts or theories that aren’t generally accepted within the scientific community.

Mirror legislation failed in 2017.

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