School Board Votes to Ban Materials That ‘Cast Doubt’ on Climate Change

The Portland Public Schools Board of Portland, Oregon, unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to remove from classrooms any materials that “cast doubt” on whether climate change is occurring, according to the Portland Tribune.

The resolution requires that textbooks and other classroom materials present climate change as fact and that it is caused by the activity of human beings.

Screenshot of the Portland Public Schools board meeting on May 17. (Image source: YouTube)
Portland Public Schools Board meeting Tuesday. (Image source: YouTube)

According to the Tribune, the resolution also called for the implementation of “curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland Public Schools.”

Gaby Lemieux, a high school student in the district, expressed support for the resolution in board testimony: “It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis. Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.”

Former Portland teacher Bill Bigelow told the board, “A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” adding, “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

The resolution was introduced by board member Mike Rosen, who also leads a project called NW Ecoliteracy Collaborative, an initiative that focuses on the way climate change is presented in school curriculums. Rosen said he has stepped aside from the project to work part-time for the Audubon Society of Portland due to his role on the school board.

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