Florida — Another Creationism Bill for 2018

The Florida legislature seems to be afflicted with some kind of mental disorder. Not only do they have bills pre-filed in both houses to require teaching “controversial theories,” as we last reported in Florida Creationism Bill for 2018 — Update, but now there’s more.

Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted A new instructional materials bill in Florida.

Lordy, lordy — a new one? It was only five months ago that we wrote Florida School Board Harassment Bill Is Now Law. As we said then:

The bill allows either parents of students in the local schools, or residents of the county where the school board functions, to complain to the school board about instructional materials or books in the library, and the board has to conduct a hearing on the complaints. In other words, any creationist drooler can harass his local school board merely for having a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species in the library. However, after giving the drooler a hearing, the decision of the school board is final.

Okay, let’s find out what new madness NCSE is reporting. Here are some excerpts from their post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Florida’s House Bill 827, prefiled on November 28, 2017, would, if enacted, revise the procedures for adopting instructional materials to permit members of the public to recommend instructional materials for consideration by the state or their district school board, which would then be required to get in touch with the publisher of those materials and allow it to submit a bid for evaluation.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That means any drooler can recommend materials from any creationist outfit — they all offer “educational material” — and the school board would then have to expend the effort necessary to evaluate their material.

This is the legislature’s page for the new bill: HB 827. It was introduced by Byron Donalds from Naples — that’s his page at the legislature’s website. They list his occupation as “Financial Advisor” — whatever that means.

Here’s the text of his bill. It adds to the already long and tedious process for reviewing recommended material, which now provides for public hearings and the selection of reviewers. One new section in Donalds’ bill says:

[District school board rules must] Establish the process by which parents and residents of the county, as defined in s. 1006.28(1)(b), can recommend instructional materials for consideration by district instructional materials reviewers. The district school board shall contact the publisher of any instructional material recommended for consideration and provide the publisher with the opportunity to submit a bid for evaluation in accordance with this section.

NCSE says:

The sole sponsor of HB 827, Byron Donalds (R-District 80), was the main sponsor of HB 989 in 2017, which, as NCSE previously reported, was intended to make it easier for creationists and climate change deniers to pester their local school districts.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Donalds was also the brains behind Florida’s earlier creationist bill.

Well, that’s the news. If this thing becomes law, it will add even more time and expense to the already clumsy procedure for selecting school texts. And of course, it will give every creationist drooler an opportunity to participate. Nothing in this new bill — or in Donalds’ last one — will contribute to the education of kids in school, but it will provide a forum for creationists.

However, as we pointed out in our discussion of Donalds’ last bill, those who take advantage of his new bill aren’t required to be creationists. For every creationist title some idiot demands the school board must review, someone else can propose a book — perhaps one titled “Creationism is a Pile of [Bleep]” — that the board should also consider. But on second thought, that’s not a great idea. School boards have enough to do as it is. Let’s hope that if this new mess becomes law, they’ll somehow be able to deal with it.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Florida — Another Creationism Bill for 2018

  1. Derek Freyberg

    “Financial advisor” = stockbroker, but sounds so much more trustworthy.

  2. @Derek Freyberg – Not necessarily. He may be a “fee only” financial advisor, not working on commission.

  3. The easiest to deal with this is likely to suggest numerous texts on evolution and climate change (why limit them to those written in English?) and swamp the system. It would be rough on the school boards while it lasted but I would expect a fairly speedy rethink.

  4. Dave Luckett

    SC says of this measure: “it will give every creationist drooler an opportunity to participate”. I would respectfully differ. “Participate” doesn’t cut it. The bill allows any resident of any school district – not only those with children in the system – to force a school board to convene, to correspond with any publisher of any named material, to hold hearings, and to issue a formal decision on its use in the schools. Morris, Whitcombe, Ham or Hovind on science, sure, but also Ayn Rand on economics, the Flat Earth society on geography, David Irving on history… the list goes on and on. Every nutbar, loon, conspiracy theorist, racist, bigot. you name it, will have a licence to make local administration of education impossibly onerous. And not just the loons who side with the bill’s proposer. Pushers of agendae that he would pale to think about would have the same licence.

    In the end, the last may be the only thing that would dissuade the idiots on what passes for the hill in Florida from this damnfool idea. But that’s only if their collective imagination is up to foreseeing the consequences. That’s a big “if”.

  5. @Our Socialist Curmudgeon, Holding The Line In Florida , inter alia

    Keep this in your back pocket — recommend to your local school board when appropriate:

  6. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Anyone know if The Flat Earth Society has educational materials?

    Does Gene Ray’s website count as educational materials if it’s in printed form?

    I smell yuge trolling potential here.

  7. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Ooops, my first time around.I missed that Dave Luckett raised TFES already.

    Ok then, how about Gary Gaulins version of ID with a forward and supplemental materials by Robert Byers?

  8. I suggest books which describe the harmful effects of sugar, American football, auto racing, …

  9. We’ve already seen this in Texas with former state education board member and current “professor” at Liberty University, Cindy Dunbar, aka Nutbar, submitting a bigoted, op-ed in the form of a “textbook” co-authored by a couple of homeschooler parents on “Mexican American Studies.” Just knowing that was from Nutbar was enough to throw it right in the shredder. Like getting a book from Hovind. No need to even crack the cover; right into the shredder.

    But, no, it required a hearing, and more hearings, and evaluations by actual historians who produced more pages of corrections than there were pages in the book. Complete and total time-waster. Hundreds of hours lost.

  10. No wonder people think government doesn’t do anything productive. It can’t, while it’s spinning its wheels trying to deal with this kind of sh–er, muck.

  11. Holding The Line In Florida

    Getting better and better all the time!