Formby supporting bill to allow discussion of all theories in class

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2016

Representative Mark Formby, R-Picayune, is supporting a bill that would allow teachers to freely discuss of scientific theories in the classroom without restriction from school district administration.
House Bill 50 is still in the infancy stages, but if it makes it through all of the typical steps, Formby said it would allow for the discussion of any scientific theory during classroom instruction, including creationism, with the teacher having to worry about a principal or superintendent stepping in.
While the bill does not include the wording “Creationism”, Formby said that could be one of many scientific topics up for discussion by teachers within Mississippi.
The bill came about after he heard third hand that a teacher had been asked not to talk about Creationism in the classroom. Formby could not say if that teacher taught within Pearl River County, or if the account was even true.
“What I hope it will do is allow Creationism to be discussed along with the Big Bang and the theory of evolution,” Formby said.
When asked if what he was trying to do is allow teachers to provide students with facts and allow them to decide what is true or not, he said his aim is for teachers to be able to provide students with information.
“I had someone tell me teachers shouldn’t have opinions,” Formby said. “I disagree with that.”
What Formby said he hopes to achieve with the bill is allow every hypothesis and theory to be fair game in the classroom.
“I am not saying that a teacher can bring in her spiritual beliefs, but if a teacher can find a scientist that is promoting an issue, or debunking an issue, then that is part of scientific debate,” Formby said.

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