The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
A Texas lawmaker is fasting to protest legislation that would crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities.” Victoria Neave is a Dallas Democrat whose district also includes parts of Garland and Mesquite. She began her fast on Sunday after eating a communion wafer at church. The fast is set to continue through Wednesday.
That’s when the Texas House is set to debate a bill that would ban cities, counties, and universities from implementing policies that prevent local law enforcement from questioning people’s immigration status.
In a video posted on the Texas Young Democrats Twitter account, Neave explains why she’s against the anti-sanctuary cities bill.
Just one day before the March for Science, the State Board of Education opted to walk back standards that required students to question the concept of evolution. The state board voted to adopt the new high school biology standards on Friday.And the changes to the language surrounding evolution might seem pretty subtle.
For example, students will now be asked to “compare and contrast” the scientific explanation for a cell’s complexity, instead of being asked to “evaluate” the different explanations. The board appointed a 10-member committee of scientists and teachers back in July to review the science standards and they recommended removing the word “evaluate.”
The changes in the biology standards won’t take effect until the 2018-2019 school year.
Thousands of Texans turned out for local March for Science events across the state over the weekend. The nonpartisan national event – held on Earth Day – sought to highlight the importance of science in everyday life.
It also aimed to advocate for the inclusion of science in public policy decisions. The main march was held in Washington D.C., but satellite marches were held in sixteen Texas cities. At the demonstration in Austin, University of Texas Graduate Student Brant Gracia issued a personal challenge to the marchers:
“As a scientist and a human, I’ve learned that we work best when we work together with the exchange of ideas between diverse people,” Gracia said. “Today I want to provide you with a challenge. When you’re marching, look around you, find someone that looks different from you. Ask them about the stories and the details that make them who they are and then tell them about the stories and the details that make you who you are.”
You can find more video of the speeches made at the Austin march here. Marches were also held in cities like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Amarillo.