A bill designed to make it easier to introduce creationism into public school classrooms has passed in the Florida Senate by a 21 to 17 vote margin. The bill was proposed by Senator Ronda Storms, Republican, and is modeled after a template provided by the Discovery Institute.
Storms filed the bill shortly after the State Board of Education adopted new science standards that require for the first time the teaching of evolution. That was a controversial decision that upset many residents who argued evolution was unproven, in conflict with their religious beliefs — or both.
But Storms said the bill was about protecting teachers First Amendment rights.
“This is a freedom of speech issue,” she said before the vote.
An identical version of the bill was filed in the House but it has since been changed. It now says only that teachers must give a “thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.”
The Senate Bill will be brought before the Florida House at a later date.