South Dakota Bill That Would Have Allowed Teachers to Promote Intelligent Design in School is Killed by Its Sponsor February 7, 2014

South Dakota Bill That Would Have Allowed Teachers to Promote Intelligent Design in School is Killed by Its Sponsor

Last week, South Dakota legislators proposed Senate Bill 112, a bill that would allow teachers to preach Intelligent Design despite the fact that it’s essentially synonymous with pushing religion in the classroom:

Bill sponsors Senator Jeff Monroe (left) and Representative Brock L. Greenfield

In short, the law — sponsored by over a dozen Republicans — would make it legal for teachers to push ID without punishment.

However, today, the bill’s main sponsor, Jeff Monroe, said he was scrapping the legislation because, as one reporter put it, “it was badly written”:

“I don’t mind a good fight, but the amount of good that would have come from the bill would have been outweighed by all the misconceptions people have had,” Monroe said. “I didn’t want to put the people in that committee in a tight sport. Some agreed with the bill, but they would have had to vote against it, based on the fact it was written poorly.”

The bill’s entire text was: “No school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or other related topics.”

I take issue with his statement. No good would’ve come from the bill at all and the problems people had with it had nothing to do with our misconceptions. It’s more likely that he scrapped the bill because it would’ve led to an eventual lawsuit and he would’ve faced the wrath of science educators across the country — and he’s just trying to save face.

I wouldn’t proclaim victory yet — Monroe will probably try to pass the bill again when he thinks no one is paying attention — but for now, those who exposed his plan deserve some heartfelt golf claps.

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