Bill In the Works To Protect Teachers When Discussing Creation and Evolution

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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) -- The debate over creation versus evolution in the classroom has taken another turn.

Virginia House Bill Number 207, proposed by Delegate Dickie Bell ahead of Wednesday's new General Assembly session, is a bill to protect science teachers when it comes to discussing things like evolution and creation.

It tasks school boards to "create an environment that encourages students to explore scientific questions."

Bell said for students to learn, they need to be able to have the free exchange of ideas without teachers having to shut down the conversation.

"The teacher needs to be more than a policeman to stop conversation, to stop dialogue because maybe it went into an area where somebody doesn't share the belief system. It's okay. We're not asking everyone to believe the same thing, we're asking for teachers to be protected when they allow discussions about different opinions to take place," said Bell, "I can tell you, as a former teacher, I know the free exchange of ideas in a classroom setting can be very educational and informative when you allow kids to develop their own ideas and beliefs."

Bell said the bill will likely get its first subcommittee hearing next week and he is optimistic it will pass.