State school board votes to pass emergency rules following the signing of HB 1775 that bans critical race theory education

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State Board of Education passed emergency rules on HB 1775, commonly known as the bill that bans critical race theory.

The Board voted 5-1. HB 1775 makes it law to prohibit race and sex discrimination in schools, as well as mandatory diversity training.

The rules say in part that schools can’t make students feel that “by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

One student spoke against the rules in public comment.

“When we speak about the Holocaust, nobody is pointing at the German kid, telling him he’s a bad person, because of Hitler’s actions. So why is that an excuse for slavery?” Sapphira Lloyd said. “Why is my life political? I’m a human being just like everyone in this room.”

“CRT is an ideology which undermines an individual’s dignity as a human being and divides people rather than unifies. Why should it permitted? In teaching about past injustice in our country, the answer should not be to teach injustice toward current students,” another person in public comment said.

The rules say parents can inspect school curriculums.

Teachers who break the rules could face suspension of their teaching certificate.

The full rules can be found here.

“I am in favor of these rules because it gives us guidance on how to uphold a law that there’s overwhelming support,” Board Member Estela Hernandez said.

The only “no” vote came from Board Member Carlisha Bradley.

“We are robbing students of the opportunity to have a high quality education, to think critically about the world around us and to build a more just society,” she said. “Critical race is not taught in K-12. Most of us in this room cannot even define what it is.”

The board voted on the emergency rules now because the law took effect July 1, and they need to have some ground work for the upcoming school year.

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“My heart is heavy, when I understand that with this action, there will be confusion in some ways, and I hope that we can move with greater clarity, understanding, that this was not a transparent process by the nature of swift emergency rules as school is about to start,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said. “We must teach, the good, the bad, the ugly. We are all committed to ensuring a safe place for kids in schools where they feel valued.”

They will meet again in the fall to discuss permanent rules.

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