Lawsuit alleges book banning related to new Oklahoma law

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Book bans and language to avoid are included in the fallout from a lawsuit filed in federal court yesterday. The suit is trying to overturn an Oklahoma law that bans critical race theory from being taught in Oklahoma schools.

The suit claims one prominent Oklahoma school district is already banning books related to race. The lawsuit targets school districts which they say are making moves to avoid breaking the new law.

The ACLU of Oklahoma claims that they have documents from Edmond schools that ban books and certain language from being used.

“Edmond public schools sent out guidance on House Bill 1775 to all of its English teachers 6-12, instructing them not to use the terms white privilege or diversity in class,” said Megan Lambert, Lead attorney for ACLU of Oklahoma.

The ACLU says they have documents that were sent to instructors where you can clearly see the language saying “avoid the term diversity” and “do not discuss white privilege”

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To Kill a Mockingbird

We asked Edmond Schools to verify these documents but a spokesperson tells KFOR they do not comment on pending litigation and they have not yet received the lawsuit.

“They are not just any texts, they are quintessential pieces of American literature,” said Lambert.

The lawsuit claims that Edmond Public Schools have banned books like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass’ and ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ from being taught in English classes.

“They are specifically texts by black authors or about the black experience or about issues of racism in American history,” said Lambert.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, an Edmond English teacher, claims only white male authors were allowed on the approved reading list.

“Was he specifically told not to use female or non-white male authors?” asked News 4.

“No, that has been the result of the texts that have been pulled to comply with House Bill 1775,” said Lambert.

The Edmond reading list has those titles, like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, removed but there are still texts written by women, like ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley.

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