Storms' evolution bill passes first panel
The Senate's committee on K-12 education voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve Sen. Ronda Storms' bill to protect teachers who offer alternative theories to evolution and students who offer other theories. Only Sen. Ted. Deutch opposed it, despite criticism from some science instructors and the ACLU.
Storms, R-Brandon, said the bill doesn't say creationism or other religious-based ideas should be taught, but critics said it was a back-door way to allow religious theories counter to Darwin. She did amend it with Sen. Steve Wise to tight a few weaknesses, such as allowing Holocaust deniers to be heard.
"This is very confusing to me, because I believe this will open the door to very serious problems in the school system," said Sen. Larcenia Bullard, who suggested she might oppose the bill in a full Senate vote.
Here's the vote tally, in case you wondered -- Bullard, Wise, Lisa Carlton, and Alex de la Portilla supported the bill, Deutch opposed it, and chairman Don Gaetz and vice chair Frederica Wilson were absent.
-- David DeCamp, Times Staff Writer