Education

Boiseans take lawmakers to task for pulling climate change from school science standards

Standing up for climate change education

Boiseans came to a hearing Tuesday night with a strong message: Make room for climate change education in the classroom.
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Boiseans came to a hearing Tuesday night with a strong message: Make room for climate change education in the classroom.

Eighty Treasure Valley residents turned out to the Red Lion Downtowner on Tuesday night, most to object to the Idaho Legislature’s removal earlier this year of human impacts on climate change from the first attempt to update education science standards in the state since 2000.

People criticized the Legislature and demanded lawmakers put climate change back into the proposed standards when they return to the Statehouse to reconsider them again next January.

Boise’s meeting was the fourth in a series of statewide hearings that began last week. Virtually no one has come forward to speak in support of the lawmakers’ action, hearing officers told the Idaho Statesman.

Here is some of what they told the Idaho Statesman:

▪  Donna Dempster-McClain, Boise: Climate change is real. Climate change is definitely human-caused. They should reinstate every single one of these standards.

▪  Hayden Hinchman, 12, Boise: I am surprised that I haven’t been informed about this current and growing problem. I think it is important to know that it can affect the people that don’t know about it. It shouldn’t be kept a secret. (Legislators) aren’t the experts in the field. I think that the scientists are the experts that know the base facts.

▪  Sienna White, 20 an atmospheric engineering major at Stanford University who grew up in Boise: As a youth coming from Idaho I think (removing climate change) is really upsetting because it underestimates the value of optimism and ambition among Idaho’s youth in trying to solve this problem. To not give students a thorough, scientific understanding in the ways ... they affect systems is unfair to people growing up in Idaho.

▪  Colin Pinegar, Boise: It’s just insane that they’ve taken these standards out of the state curriculum. It leaves Idaho students behind as far as what they are being taught. I think there is a huge gap in the completion of their knowledge.

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