Coal-Loving West Virginia House Blocks Teaching Climate Change In Schools

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The West Virginia House of Delegates on Friday passed a bill that would delay for a year the implementation of educational standards that require teachers to teach students about human contribution to climate change.

“In an energy-producing state, it’s a concern to me that we are teaching our kids potentially that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state,” Republican Del. Jim Butler said of the standards, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “We need to make sure our science standards are actually teaching science and not pushing a political agenda.”

Republican Del. Michel Moffatt introduced the measure on Thursday to delay the implementation of the new science standards until the 2017-18 school year.

“Starting in kindergarten, you’re talking about teaching the kids about how humans negatively affect the Earth,” Moffatt said of the standards, according to the Gazette-Mail. “In an ideal world, you could interpret that as, sure, everyone has a footprint, but you could also twist that into all fossil fuels are bad.”

The measure was introduced as an amendment to a bill that would direct the state to assess its English and math standards, as well as eliminate a standardized test aligned with Common Core. The amendment addressing science standards and the entire bill both passed, according to the Gazette-Mail.

The West Virginia state school board at the end of 2014 adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which direct teachers to discuss the contribution of manmade activity to climate change. However, the board altered parts of the standards at the request of a board member to introduce skepticism that the global temperature haas risen. The board then reversed those edits in January 2015 following national outcry.

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