Science a Hot Topic at Rapid City Legislative Crackerbarrel Meeting

South Dakota Rep. Julie Frye-Mueller

During the legislative crackerbarrel meeting in Rapid City yesterday, South Dakota Rep. Julie Frye-Mueller brought up SB 55 which had been intended to allow teachers to discuss all sides of scientific inquiry which are aligned with the educational content standards already outlined in law. The bill passed the South Dakota Senate on Jan. 25, but was killed in the “Republican” supermajority House Education Committee three days ago.

Frye-Mueller said Brian Johnson, a citizen from Rapid City, had testified in favor of the bill in the legislature, but was shown “unnecessary” disrespect by one member of the committee.

Frye-Mueller mentioned that the bill would have allowed classroom discussions that provided both sides of the evidence for and against things like global warming, and that when she was growing up, the scientific consensus was that we were facing a new ice age.

South Dakota Senator Phil Jensen read the bill during the crackerbarrel meeting:

No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.

Jensen said fears had been raised that the bill would allow teaching “flat earth” or creationism, yet the language of the bill clearly limited the scope to material in the content standards, and such things are not in the content standards.

Woodrow Wilcox


A member of the audience asked Frye-Mueller for clarification on what she meant by “both sides of global warming.”  Frye-Mueller again elaborated by pointing out that there is evidence for and against global warming, and that scientific consensus shifts, as it had shifted since the time when it was believed we were on the verge of a new ice age.

The audience member then said, “There aren’t two sides to global warming. The proper term is ‘climate change’.” She likened the argument against global warming as the same kind of tactics that tobacco companies had used to promote their products in the past. She again said there aren’t two sides to “climate change” and that “99% of scientists know and have validated that this is true.”


South Dakota Senator Phil Jensen pointed out that 30,000 scientists have signed a petition stating there is no convincing evidence of anthropogenic global warming. The audience member said those scientists had been bribed.

There was also a complaint from a member of the audience that they knew of a teacher who kept a Bible in their desk at school, and how this was improper.

Some of the liberal members of the audience also didn’t like the use of “labels,” i.e. calling Democrats “Democrats”, liberals “liberals,” etc.

A desire was also expressed that we have a democracy rather than a republic.

As you can see in the video below, the discussion went on for some time and was quite passionate at times.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Easyrinos

    The thought-police have infiltrated cracker-barrels across the fruited plain. The more liberals speak, the more ignorant and afraid they sound.