OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Days after a controversial law went into effect banning Oklahoma public schools from teaching critical race theory, state Republicans are calling for a crackdown on rules relating to the theory.
A slew of lawmakers are now calling on the State Board of Education to issue clear and concise guidelines ahead of the school year so that there will be no room for confusion and nothing left up to a teacher’s own interpretation.
Oklahoma State Senator David Bullard released a statement Tuesday in which he is “calling on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister to take immediate action to fully implement House Bill 1775 at the July 12, 2021, State Board of Education meeting.”
HB 1775 was signed into law July 1. So far, 17 Republican senators publicly joined Bullard in urging its immediate and thorough implementation ahead of the next school year.
“There are many in the Oklahoma Legislature who believe that teaching ‘truth’ is freedom,” said Bullard. “So, many, however, do not realize the trap, the indoctrination and lies perpetuated on students through the required acceptance of the principles of critical race theory.”
Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews is speaking against the senator’s rally against the concept being taught in schools.
“I am disgusted and disappointed that he and his cohorts are continuing this divisive, propaganda nonsense,” she said. “They figured that critical race theory are boogeyman words and they’re used to scare voters who won’t take their time to do a real quick search and learn what critical race theory is.”
Bullard advocates the concept is discriminatory, characterizing and shaming students based on their race, indoctrinating them into thinking systemic racism is part of American society. Andrews disagrees, saying it’s about social justice.
“Truly, what critical race theory is, it’s about the fact that our laws are based on how our country was founded,” she said. “Our country was founded on folks coming in and employing Manifest Destiny and bringing in slaves, and we’ve had laws throughout the time that have reinforced some of those divisive tactics. Critical race theory is not about making children feel bad about things that have happened in the past.”
Andrews believes without the theory, students will get a slanted view of history and not the full story from all perspectives. She calls the new law banning it irresponsible, saying it doesn’t help an existing problem, but rather adds to it.
Bullard concluded his release by saying, “Oklahoma’s children are not defined by their sex or the color of their skin. HB 1775 ensures that every child has a right to attend school free from race or sex-based discrimination, and the State Superintendent has a duty to ensure this law is implemented with fidelity.”
Andrews said the bottom line is the future of Oklahoma’s students.
“What’s going to happen is that Oklahoma students, if they choose to leave Oklahoma, they will be behind because this is not what is being taught all over the nation,” she said “Leaving our young people behind is not how we further Oklahoma, not how we grow Oklahoma, not how we take care of Oklahoma.”
A State Board of Education spokeswoman said they have been in discussion over the rules of HB 1775’s implementation. Once they’re finished, Gov. Kevin Stitt will sign them with a final approval.