To: Virginia House of Delegates

Don’t leave Virginia students in the dark on climate science!

Climate Parents

Victory! The creator of this petition declared the campaign a success. You can still sign the petition to show support.

Reject State Delegate Richard Bell’s bill (House Bill 207) that would allow denial of climate change to be taught to our kids and grandkids at school. Instead of blocking access to science education, Virginia legislators must take steps to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, which include climate science education. Virginia children deserve to be taught the truth about their world to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities they will face throughout their lives.

Why is this important?

A new bill has just been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly that could rob Virginia students of a quality science education. If passed, students could lose out on a science education that includes climate change and evolution. This legislation is bad for our kids and must be stopped.

State Delegate Richard Bell’s legislation says teachers would be allowed to “help students….critique and review….the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in science class.” This is well-known code for “teaching the controversy” of climate change instead of the facts about climate science.

If this legislation passes, school boards, superintendents, and principals will be unable to hold teachers who cite fringe climate deniers and other crank theories accountable. Tennessee and Louisiana have already passed bills that call out climate change as an example of a “scientific theory” subject to debate rather than understanding. Unless we speak up now, Virginia could be next.

According to a story in Climate Progress, “the bill is part of a national trend of legislative proposals, led by creationist organizations like the Discovery Institute and climate-change deniers such as the Heartland Institute.” (1)

While the Virginia Assembly considers Bell’s anti-science bill, other states across the country have begun adopting 21st century science standards that include solid climate science education. The Next Generation Science Standards -- developed by the National Academy of Sciences and 26 states -- teach the known and accepted facts of climate change, rather than treating it as a debatable theory. Virginia should follow suit.

At a time when Virginia is already experiencing climate impacts such as rising sea levels that threaten Hamptons Roads and other sections of the Virginia coast, our kids deserve to be taught the truth about climate change so that they can be part of the solution.

Thank you for taking action for our kids and grandkids!

Aimee Tavares, Mom
Arlington, VA

(1) Climate Progress story: