Montana Republican Introduces Bill To Ban The Teaching Of Scientific Theories In Public Schools

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A bill in the state Legislature seeking to regulate science curriculum in public schools got its first hearing Monday. The legislation’s sponsor says by banning scientific theories; the policy aims to prevent kids from being taught things that aren’t true.

More than 20 people testified against Senate Bill 235, concerned that it could keep teachers from including gravitational theory, evolution, and cell theory in the curriculum.

Mia Taylor is a sophomore at Helena High School. She told the committee, “If we remove scientific theory from science curriculums, what can be taught will be limited. It is the school’s job to educate its students.”

Freshman Republican Senator Daniel Emrich from Great Falls sponsors the bill. In his testimony, Emrich said the bill would ensure students are taught what a scientific fact is.

“If we operate on the assumption that a theory is a fact, unfortunately, it leads us to ask questions that may be potentially based on false assumptions,” Emrich said.

A legal note from legislative staff says the bill could overstep the Board of Public Education’s constitutional authority to oversee schools in the state.

The committee did not take immediate action on the bill.