Fri February 22, 2013
Mo. Bill Would Encourage ‘Evolution Dialogue’ In Classroom
Legislation moving through the Missouri House would require state and local-level public school officials to encourage classroom discussion on the, quote, “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution.
The sponsor, GOP House Member Andrew Koenig of St. Louis County, says the bill stresses academic freedom.
“It does not mandate curriculum to the teacher,” Koenig said. “It’s really up to the school district, and if evolution is gonna be taught, it just allows them to teach the scientific strengths and weaknesses.”
Democrat Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County sits on a House committee that conducted a hearing on the bill this week.
“Once we start legislating how teachers teach in the classroom and what theories they can prescribe and which they can’t, it really does open up a Pandora’s Box that I don’t think we want to open,” Roorda said.
Roorda says he’s concerned the bill could open the door to religion being taught in K-12 schools.
“I think we ought to tread very carefully when we start legislating how teachers teach,” Roorda said.
No one testified against the bill at a House committee hearing this week. A vote is expected later.