A bill in the state Legislature would require school districts and charter schools to allow parents to remove their children from classes that teach the theory of evolution.
State Rep. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, said he thinks parents should be given the right to remove their children from those classes.
In fact, Schatz said he does not think evolution should be taught at all in schools.
“It’s literally a theory,” said Schatz, referring to Darwinian evolution. “I think it’s useless.”
Schatz said he believes in divine creation as stated in the Bible.
If evolution is taught in schools divine creation should be also, he said.
State Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair, said it is hard to give a specific stance on the bill without reading it. But in general Hinson said it should be the parents’ right to choose whether they want their child to take part in a class that teaches the theory of evolution.
State Rep. Paul Curtman said he believes parents should have the opportunity to remove children from instruction that contradicts their religious views.
“The state doesn’t own people’s kids,” Curtman said.
The state is supposed to provide a public education but not force people to engage in instruction that forces a conflict of religious views, Curtman added.
Under the bill, the school district would be required to notify the parents of the basic content of instruction and also let them know that they have a right to remove their children from the class.
And the materials used in the class must be made available for public inspection under the Sunshine Law prior to their use in actual instruction.
The bill is sponsored by Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville.
The bill has been referred to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, which is chaired by State Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Poplar Bluff.
State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, could not be reached for comment.