Judy Burges Defends "Academic Freedom" Bill, Makes It Sound Even Worse

A bill that would allow teachers to address "weaknesses of existing scientific theories" has been explained by the bill's sponsor, and that explanation isn't exactly comforting.

Part of Senate Bill 1213 bill says that school districts and schools would "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies."

See also:
-Arizona Republicans Proposing "Academic Freedom" (a.k.a. Anti-Evolution) Bill

Another part says, "Teachers shall be allowed to help pupils understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."

Republican state Senator Judy Burges, who didn't respond to New Times' previous request for comment on the bill, explained the reasoning to Valley political reporter Howie Fischer.

For example, for climate change Burges told Fischer, "There should be an opportunity for teachers to step up to the plate and give their opinion, if they have scientific proof, that it isn't happening, that it's a natural phenomena, without retribution."

We're totally sure that a seventh-grade biology teacher in Kingman has all the facts to disprove global warming for the children, and he might even delve into how Sasquatch forged President Obama's birth certificate, if he has time.

As we previously mentioned, the language in SB 1213 declares "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning" as the topics that "can cause controversy," and where Burges believes a teacher's opinion ought to come into play.

The bill's text can be found here, and check out the rest of Fischer's article, as he debunks some of Burges' claims by spending a minute or two exploring facts.

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Good thing this bill doesn't allow critizising creationism - it's not a scientific theory. 


I'm a retired teacher who taught high school for 33 years, and I'm fed up with legislators like Burges, who know nothing about education, making laws to impose their religious views on students and teachers.  Facts are facts, and imo, only someone who is averse to facts would even write a bill like this one.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Judy, Judy, Judy! WHAT weaknesses? Only some loon born-again Christian creationist teabagger would think that there are "weaknesses" in the Theory of Evolution or global warming = climate change. And are you ready for an even hotter Arizona? It's coming, courtesy of global warming.

david_saint01 topcommenter

first, these are the same people that shut down the Ethnics studies program..so i find it laughable they claim they are interested in free expression and thought. Second, the fact that Huppenthal is just another GOP crony makes me think after this is passed he will start issuing mandates on what is being taught to help further their agenda...lastly, the fact they spelled out "this isnt to force religion on students" makes me assume that is the intended goal...why else would they feel the need to claim otherwise? perhaps because they know it gives that perception...


Common Sense was never one of the state's 5 C's anyway.


Could a teacher give his/her opinion of certain religious dogmas as well?  So-called "creation science" comes to mind.. I swear these people have no sense at all.

WhoKnows topcommenter

Seriously, are there NO sane members of the GOP left in AZ?

WhoKnows topcommenter

@MandyMountain Some in office think everyone in the public is as down right stupid and uneducated as they are.


@WhoKnowsOf course the public is "as down right stupid and uneducated as they are." How else do you explain who they elect?

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