Oklahoma antiscience bill: 1st vote next Tuesday
 
     
Dear Friend of NCSE,
 

We just heard: one of the antiscience bills before Oklahoma's legislature will have its first hearing next week. We need your help to stop this bill.

HB 1674 is modeled on dangerous, antiscience laws passed in Tennessee last year and Louisiana in 2008, and similar bills rejected in almost a dozen other states (including Oklahoma just last year). The bill will come before the House Education Committee next Tuesday, February 19.

Lawmakers need to hear from you this weekend.

Why so soon? Many lawmakers will make up their minds how to vote before the enter the hearing. It will be easier to reach them and sway them beforehand, through phone calls, emails, and personal conversations (many will be home in their districts for the long weekend). These conversations will lay the groundwork for the public testimony on Tuesday, and I hope you'll try to attend the hearing and speak out.

When: Tuesday, February 19, 10:30 AM
Where: Oklahoma Capitol Building, Room 412-C
Who: House Education Committee -- and you
What: Speak out against HB 1674
How: Contact legislators today (I posted the committee members' email addresses below and you can find your representative at the Oklahoma Legislature website). Arrive before the hearing on Tuesday and sign up to testify against the bill.
Why: HB 1674 is dangerous and unnecessary. Here are some reasons why:
  • It wrongly singles out evolution and climate change (among others) as supposedly scientifically "controversial" topics.
  • It makes it harder for school districts to establish a clear science curriculum.
  • It limits school administrators' power to stop creationism or other nonscience lessons and thus opens local school districts to costly lawsuits.
  • It takes away teachers' power to stop students from interrupting classes.
  • It redefines and weakens the idea of academic freedom.
  • It writes false claims about science into state law, contradicting textbooks, state standards, and the expertise of Oklahoma's scientists and teachers.
  • It is a solution in search of a problem. No one has offered an example (other than creationism or other inappropriate material) where this bill would provide more protection than existing law and policy.
In talking to your representatives, remember to be concise, polite, and professional. Emphasize that you are their constituent, or that you are an Oklahoman contacting them as a member of the committee. There are more tips on writing such letters, and preparing testimony for public meetings, at NCSE's website. Please write back to let me know if you plan to testify on Tuesday, and send along whatever responses your representatives send you.

If you have not done so already and did not get this email directly from me, please sign up at NCSE's website to get action alerts and news about this effort. Please also share this information with your friends, and urge them to sign up as well. Together we can stop these antiscience bills.

Thank you for your help,
Josh Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director

P.S. NCSE's work in Oklahoma and nationwide is only possible because of the generous support of people like you. Your donation of $10, $35, or even $100 will make us stronger and better prepared for the coming fight.

Members of the Oklahoma House Education Committee:

Ann Coody, Chair, 557-7398, anncoody@okhouse.gov

Dennis Casey, Vice Chair, 557-7344, dennis.casey@okhouse.gov

Ed Cannaday, 557-7375, ed.cannaday@okhouse.gov

Donnie Condit, 557-7376, donnie.condit@okhouse.gov

Doug Cox, 557-7415, dougcox@okhouse.gov

Lee Denny, 557-7304, leedenney@okhouse.gov

Dale DeWitt, 557-7332, daledewitt@okhouse.gov

Curtis McDaniel,557-7363 curtis.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov

Jeannie McDaniel, 557-7334, jeanniemcdaniel@okhouse.gov

Jason Nelson, 557-7335, jason.nelson@okhouse.gov

Jadine Nollan, 557-7390, jadine.nollan@okhouse.gov

Dustin Roberts, 557-7366, dustin.roberts@okhouse.gov

Jason Smalley, 557-7368, jason.smalley@okhouse.gov

Todd Thomsen, 557-7336, todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov

Emily Virgin, 557-7323, emily.virgin@okhouse.gov

 
 
 




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