District 51 School Board Rejects Controversial Global Warming Petition

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) - The District 51 School Board passed a resolution Tuesday rejecting a petition that asked them to stop the teaching of man-made global warming as fact.

During the meeting, board member Diann Rice read the following statement:

"New Colorado academic standards for science as adopted by the Colorado Board of Education require that climate change be addressed in science classes. These standards are available at the Colorado Department of Education website. The board expects that differing points of view will be presented in the classroom. However, we will adhere to content standards adopted by the state.

We further believe that the teaching of good stewardship of our environment is an essential element of our curriculum.

While the board welcomes and respects all public comment at our meetings and embraces different differing points of view, our mission is the education of youth in our community."

The petition was started by local attorney Rose Pugliese, who says students she works with in the Young Republicans club told her they were concerned that their teachers were showing the film "An Inconvenient Truth" in class -- and not providing materials that refute global warming.

Pugliese turned in the petition to the school board during their May 25th meeting with 700 signatures. She attended Tuesday night's meeting.

"You know, I'm not going to say [the board's decision] is not something I expected," said Pugliese. "What we really wanted to do was bring it to the attention of the school board that these things are happening in our classrooms. Whether or not they believe it's happening I guess is an issue."

She says on a positive note, she's glad the attention her petition has received has got people talking about this issue, which she hopes can be a stepping stone for change in the future.

"This is an issue nationwide," said Pugliese. "It's getting national attention for a reason. People know this is going on in our schools and I think we need to bring those people together and start standing up for our kids."

Opponents of the petition also attended Tuesday's meeting and thanked the school board for their decision.

"I applaud the school board," said Richard Alward, a local scientist. "I think they took a principled stand and they stood up for rigorous science in our classrooms. I think that's an important thing for them to have done."

Alward says too often people don't like the policy implications that come about from sound science -- and rather than target the policy makers they go after the science. While he believes an issue like global warming should be discussed in the public arena, he doesn't believe the politics surrounding it should be brought into the classroom.

"We don't teach that smoking is good and healthy as if it was the other side -- we just know that's wrong," said Alward. "What we have right now are people that want to delay certain policies who are pretending that their political arguments, their public relations arguments are science."

The board also rejected a second petition turned in by Pugliese asking them to bar teachers from bringing partisan politics in the classroom. Board members said they agreed that teachers should not be imparting their political views on students -- however, they felt the district already has the proper policies in place that allow parents and students to file formal complaints against teachers who do that.

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  • by mike Location: GJ on Jun 18, 2010 at 03:09 PM
    I am so tired of activist teachers. I want them to teach kids reading writing and math. Leave the politics out of the classroom. I have personally been fighting this for 2 years. I guess we really on the road to Marxism and following in the footsteps of 1930's Germany. WAKE UP GRAND JUNCTION
  • by Corey Location: Fruita on Jun 17, 2010 at 07:24 AM
    Why doesn't anyone see global warming for what it is? It's a money making scheme! It seems in the story books Chicken Little was shunned for yelling the sky is falling and in real life people throw money at him. Y2K, remember how horrible it was going to be...people running around buying emergency food supplies and wind up radios. Very similar to people buying bomb shelters in the 50's. Hmmm, you can't tell me that no one realizes that every few years there is a new scare tactic all geared to working up the public into a frenzy so they will spend money to ensure they have a better chance of surviving. There was the mini-ice age, hole in the ozone, communist pinkos, Y2K, and global warming just to name a few. Those were mostly just in my life time and I am only 41! We all know the saying: "If it sounds to good to be true then it probably is." Well, the same goes for "If it sounds to BAD to be true...."
  • by Russell Location: Arizona on Jun 16, 2010 at 04:14 PM
    The teaching of only one side of the man-caused global warming issue is an indication of one of two things: sheer ignorance or biased politics. The irony is that people somehow think it is partisan to allow teachers to show both sides of the issue. If the skeptics's side is debunked, why hide that instead of showing it as the way the Scientific Method works? If the IPCC believers can't show how the skeptics' conclusions are disproved, and if they cannot point to specific faults in the skeptics' papers that are the result of big oil & coal industry influence, then how can the censorship of the skeptics' views be anything other than an indication of partisan politics? By the way, what is the official position of the school board concerning the 880 page rebuttal to the IPCC titled "Climate Change Reconsidered, The 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" (NIPCC, seen at this link: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2009/2009report.html )?
  • by John Location: 480 28 1/4 Rd trlr #48 on Jun 16, 2010 at 01:51 PM
    I am certainly happy about the school board for taking time to read comments about the concerns for teaching in our public schools on the topic of manmade global warming .Because this affecting our whole planet in alot of different ways yes this is part of science and of nature both. Now yes I agree that teachers should not push politics of on the students though. But for something as serious as our environmental crisis does need to be brought up on every side of the table. We expect to send our children off to school to help educate them with the best education that they can get.This way if some students want to become scientists one day and earn some really good money at working for our environment.By allowing the children to have the choice of education we indeed should let the children and parents how we can teach our children better.I am happy that the petition got the two thumbs down for trying to ruin students future.Thanks for listening to the concerns for District 51 schools .
  • by fastfreddie Location: Florida on Jun 16, 2010 at 06:02 AM
    "What we really wanted to do was bring it to the attention of the school board..." No, what Puliese really wanted to do was bring attention to HERSELF! I bet Palin is her hero.
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