OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) — In an unbinding opinion letter, Oklahoma’s attorney general said the state superintendent may not have the authority to implement controversial new rules on topics like sex education and library books.
“I’m definitely satisfied with the opinion. It goes basically to what I’ve said all along,” said Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.
The Attorney General’s letter points out State Superintendent Ryan Walters may not have the authority to pursue new state agency rules on school library books some parents may consider pornographic. That’s something Rep. McBride said schools already have a safety net for.
“I think the State Department of Ed needs to quit trying to promulgate rules and do things like this and get back to the ABC’s the reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Rep. McBride.
McBride asked Oklahoma Attorney General Getner Drummond if the state law Walters cited in making new rules for the State Education Department is constitutional.
In a non-binding opinion, AG Drummond said the law shows the department has the power to “adopt policies and make rules” for public schools. He adds part of the law is “an overly broad unconstitutional delegation of power to the Board.”
Put simply, The OSDE can not make, or enforce new rules they make, without specific instruction from the Legislature.
News 4 received the following statement from Superintendent Walter’s communications team:
“While we did not originally receive any official opinion from the Attorney General office on this matter, it is strange and odd that such a specific letter was delivered to a state representative who is having an identity crisis as a so-called Republican.
Superintendent Walter’s is disappointed, however, in the fact that pornography and parental rights are being kicked around the political landscape by players in Oklahoma who claim to be conservatives upholding traditional values.
Ryan will never back down from liberal activists who are pushing woke indoctrination and pushing pornography in schools. He will always empower Oklahoma parents with the right to protect their children.”Matt Langston, spokesperson for Superintendent Walters
“We need to quit focusing on this national rhetoric ‘woke’ because we don’t have that in Oklahoma,” said Rep. McBride.
“I want to see [Walters} do his job. I want him to succeed,” said Rep. McBride. “But, we can’t continue to go down this road.”