REPUBLICAN Sen. Ronda Storms has proposed that Florida public school teachers be allowed to contradict the theory of evolution in class.
Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, chairman of the PreK-12 Committee, said he hopes to schedule a hearing during the session on Storms' evolution proposal. Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, confirmed Monday he will file the bill in the House.
Storms, R-Valrico, filed the "Academic Freedom Act" on Friday to protect K-12 school teachers who present "scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution in connection with teaching any prescribed curriculum regarding chemical or biological origins."
The proposal comes from activists who failed to convince the state Board of Education to adopt the language as part of the state's new science standards. Board members voted to mandate explicitly the teaching of evolution, which they agreed to qualify as a "theory."
House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Miami, told the Florida Baptist Witness in a story after the science standards vote that the evolution battle "will go on for quite some time" and that the House "may have sufficient votes" to act on an academic freedom proposal.
Terry Kemple, president of the Brandon-based Community Issues Council, whose motto is "Christian Citizenship in Action," praised the effort. He worked closely with Storms in preparing the legislation.
Florida Citizens for Science a statewide, nonprofit, grass-roots organization is made up of those who wish to help our state develop and maintain the highest educational standards.
Here is what the Florida Citizens for Science blog says about the Storms proposal:
1 — This academic freedom stuff is merely the next evolutionary step as anti-science folks continue their attempts to shove creationism into the public school classroom. First, there was blatant creationism. Next there was intelligent design. Both failed miserably. Now comes along academic freedom. Same smelly crap, different packaging.
2 — Simply put, there are no other scientific theories challenging evolution. None. Nil. Zero. Zip. So, what is the academic purpose of this bill then?
3 — This bill will fade away and die. Kinda like in Alabama. There were also threats of such a bill in Utah. And there was Oklahoma. And Maryland. Well, you get the point.