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Senator Monroe Determined to Let French Teachers Lecture on Evolution

Last updated on 2014.02.17

Senator Monroe, have you considered applying intelligent design to your legislation?

First Pierre Republican Senator Jeff Monroe proposes Senate Bill 101, which he thinks pushes his favored fetal-personhood propaganda into public schools but which really opens the door for teachers of any subject and ideological stripe to say whatever they want about conception and sex in any classroom, without fear of any punishment or control from their administrations or school boards.

Not satisfied with that error, Senator Monroe opens the floodgates further with Senate Bill 112, which uses the same language as SB 101 to open every classroom to lectures on intelligent design:

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.

Even if I shared Senator Monroe's agenda of forcing the lies of intelligent design on South Dakota's children, I would never have written legislation like this. Just like SB 101, SB 112 is absurdly overbroad. Let us read the bill literally:

  • a teacher: Neither bill specifies teachers on staff. They apply to anyone holding a teaching certificate.
  • in a public or nonpublic school: So a teacher walks into a school. I walk into a school where I don't work, stand on a table in the lunchroom, and start talking to kids. As long as I discuss the topics referenced in SB 101 and 112, I'm immune from interference from school officials.
  • providing instruction on intelligent design: I am free to instruct the kids that intelligent design is bunk. I can instruct students that evolution works without any tinkering by any imagined deity.
  • and other related topics: Since we're on the topic, a more radical atheist teacher could throw to the kids that God is a figment of childish, insecure imaginations.

SB 112, like SB 101, absurdly demolishes administrative supervision of classrooms and curriculum. French teachers could spend days rambling about evolution or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and principals could not interrupt, discipline, suspend, or fire those French teachers for such professional malpractice. Senator Monroe also imposes state control on private religious schools, who might very much want to enforce a creationist curriculum but find a converting wolf among their sheep. Imagine a teacher at St. Thomas More or Great Plains Lutheran wakes up one morning, sees the darkness, and comes to school to debunk all the lies in the school's Gospel-based "science" books. That teacher starts praising Darwin, and pious administrators find their hands tied by Senator Monroe's ill-considered legislation.

Senator Monroe, I know you're enjoying your time in the Legislature as an opportunity to turn talk-radio karaoke into your personal fantasy of culture-war glory. But you still have to write bills that, on the off chance of a drunk majority, would not create havoc if enacted. SB 101 and SB 112 would create havoc. Withdraw them now, before the Senate Education Committee has to embarrass you on the record.


  1. Bree S. 2014.01.30

    Well if it was changed to read "no school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher employed in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or unrelated topics" that would give liberal school administrators and board members belligerent to the theory of intelligent design an impetus to fire teachers they disagree with. I imagine the risk that traveling bands of unemployed teachers sympathetic to the theory of intelligent design would occupy school lunch room tables with dangerous anti-atheist rhetoric is rather minute. Also, by teaching secularist evolutionary theory complete with the Pulled From A Secularist's Bum Big Bang Theory educators are already teaching kids that intelligent design is bunk, so there is no risk on an increase in that behavior due to this bill.

  2. Nick Nemec 2014.01.30

    So called "Intelligent Design" is bunk and has no place in a modern education. I suspect even a majority of Christians don't believe in it.

    Maybe the teacher unions should get behind this bill, if passed it would eliminate all battles concerning teacher tenure. On the first day of her first year of teaching any teacher could start spouting Intelligent Design. Oops, can't fire her or refuse her a contract for the next year because that would be prohibiting her from providing instruction on Intelligent Design.

    Well played Senator Monroe, well played. Who knew you were a closet union supporter?

  3. Bree S. 2014.01.30

    I believe you are misdefining intelligent design, which is merely the belief that the universe has an intelligent cause, an idea that has just as much scientific evidence to support it as the crackpot Big Bang theory. Not only would a majority of Christians have to believe in intelligent design, but a Christian who did not would be unable to define themselves as Christian, since Christians believe in the existence of eternal Deity as well as at least some level of divine attention to the physical world.

  4. interested party 2014.01.30

    Lungha, her sky gray.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.01.30

    If the universe had an intelligent cause,how in the world can you explain these wingnuts? I'd maybe fall for the idea that the Good Humor Man/Woman created wingnuts to give everyone a good laugh. These legislators must work real hard at being this goofy,cuz if they were born this way they couldn't have mastered breathing.

  6. Roger Elgersma 2014.01.30

    The first philosopher that thought of the intelligent design theory was Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher who lived before Socrates. So are we going to throw out philosophy since they started this theory on their own.

  7. PNR 2014.01.30

    Mike from IA,
    In answer to your question, God - like quite a few intelligent beings - has a sense of humor.

    The bill is absurd. The question of the source of the universe is a metaphysical question, not a physical, and therefore not a scientific question. A teacher, especially if asked, should not be restricted from saying whether he (or she) believes there is an intelligence behind it or not, but ought point out that is not a question that can be answered via the scientific method.

  8. mike from iowa 2014.01.30

    PNR-what teachers should be discussing this in school? Public schools aren't required,yet,to teach religion and ID isn't a scientific theory. What class or classes would this be appropriate to bring up in? I'm looking for answers,not confrontation.

  9. mike from iowa 2014.01.30

    In the teevee series Mike Hammer,the police captain always bailing Hammer out,his name was Pat Chambers(played by Don Stroud),but neither were ever in the Twilight Zone(Stroud or Stacey Keach) as far as I know. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

  10. interested party 2014.01.30

    mike, pnr won't listen to us: he's had a 'no atheists in foxhole' moment and now uses a weaponized bible to save souls.

  11. Troy 2014.01.30


    Actually ID is a scientific theory that the random chances are so remote life and the principles of physics were formed by a intelligent design.

  12. interested party 2014.01.30

    Actually, Mike: ID < the Heisenberg Uncertainyy Principle.

  13. interested party 2014.01.30

    Uncertainty is the only science behind ID.

  14. interested party 2014.01.30

    Bill Fleming: call your solar system.

  15. Donald Pay 2014.01.30

    The bill fails to define "intelligent design," and there is no way to enforce the law. I don't know how a school board or school administrator could ever hold any teacher to any standard if this law were to pass.

    My guess is this bill and other similar goofy bills are hoghouse vehicles. Many times legislators put in bills like this as means to have a tabled bill available for some legislation coming later.

  16. grudznick 2014.01.30

    But Mr. Pay, won't the hog bill have to be germaine to the title of the un hog bill and then they change it? Do you, sir, have a hand in these hog bills to further your liberal agenda from out of state or do you have a minion doing your bidding?

  17. Nick Nemec 2014.01.30

    Any amendment dealing with any aspect of education would be germane. But in practice the question of germane is practically moot, the presiding officer will rule any bill germane if a vehicle is needed.

  18. denature 2014.01.30

    No explicit endorsement of astrology this time around, but they left the door open for ancient aliens.

  19. mike from iowa 2014.01.31

    From some of the garbage education bills I've noticed spewing out of different state's legislatures,one tends to think the theory of relativity is all about inbreeding.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.31

    Now, Mike, the Nazis warned us not to fall for relativity, with all of its bogus Jewish science....

  21. leslie 2015.01.28

    TROY, you said intelligent design is a scientific theory. gotta cite?

  22. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.30

    ALEC has its very own song. It tells why we should trust them.

    Anyway thats the way I see it.

    Lame, insane, with no brains.

    The Blindman

Comments are closed.