OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After 130 days of waiting on an open records request regarding alleged pornography in schools, the Oklahoma State Department of Education said they do not maintain such a list.

News 4 talked with former OSDE spokesperson, Justin Holcomb over the phone on March 29 about alleged pornography in schools. We wanted to know what specific schools have been found in violation, who the teachers are facing disciplinary action for having such books in their classrooms, and what districts are potentially facing a downgrade in accreditation for allowing the books to be present.

Holcomb refused to provide a list, saying OSDE didn’t want to rehash the past and “drag [schools] through the mud” since everything had already been handled.

He claims the books found were turned over to OSDE though.

“I’m not surprised that we have another day where the fake news media is lying to Oklahomans,” stated Supt. Walters in response to News 4’s story on social media. “Just show your viewers what we’re talking about, what we find in schools. How about you let them make their own decisions?”

Since a formal list was not provided, News 4 filed an open records request on March 29.

“We’d like a list of every specific school found having pornographic or inappropriate reading material. The list should include specific schools within school districts and if there are any specific teachers who were found in violation of having this content available for students. This list should only contain information during Ryan Walters’ time in office. On top of that, we’d like to know which books were identified as inappropriate, how many of those books were found within schools, where those books have gone, and the remedy taken by both the State Department of Education and those schools. We’d also like to know the date in which those books were found and when they were removed,” News 4’s open records request reads.

Supt. Walters sent various media outlets and lawmakers a packet with information on pornographic books he claimed were found in Oklahoma schools. He sent the packet on April 3.

That packet laid out “books found in question,” a timeline of events, and a lengthy list of LGBTQ+ related books.

The books found in question include:

  • “Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human” – Erika Moen, Matthew Nolen
  • Flamer” – Mike Curato
    • Tulsa Public Schools
    • Owasso Public Schools
    • Bixby Public Schools
  • “Gender Queer: A Memoir” – Maia Kobabe
    • Tulsa Public Schools
  • “Lawn Boy” – Jonathan Evison

The timeline of events starts in November 2021 and runs through March 2023.

However, the last “pornographic” book reportedly found in Oklahoma public schools was August 13, 2022, according to OSDE’s packet.

“If there is even one inappropriate book that shows graphic imagery, such as Gender Queer and Flamer that a child has access to, then it is one book too many.  Under Superintendent Walters, SDE provides strict guidelines on age-appropriate material and will pursue any bad faithed actor within the state. Parents deserve to know that their kids are learning, not looking at state sponsored porn,” said OSDE Chief Policy, Matt Langston on Monday.

House Representative Mark McBride (R-Moore) told KFOR he hasn’t personally received any constituent complaints regarding inappropriate reading material.

“I’m not saying that it couldn’t be out there, but I have not [personally received complaints]. And that’s a question that I’ve had for the Department of Education for a long time now for six, eight months is show me the proof. I know about what happened under Superintendent Hofmeister. Matter of fact, they shared all that information with us, but now I would like to see, you know, any additional information that they have but I have yet to see it,” said Rep. McBride.

He added Supt. Walters’ accusations of pornography in schools carries heavy weight.

“I wanted to know the books, the schools and what it was. I didn’t want to see something that they’d taken off the Internet, possibly could be in schools, maybe in schools, but might not be in schools. I wanted to know facts. I didn’t want to know, you know, what ifs and I’ve never been presented with any facts other than that packet he sent in. Those particular books that were shown in that packet, to my knowledge, were not found in Oklahoma schools. That was something that they had taken off of something called Libs of TikTok or I really don’t know,” said Rep. McBride.

Rep. McBride stated he doesn’t agree with pornography in schools, but feels as if Oklahomans were mislead into believing it was spreading from district to district.

“I think we should focus on other things, the basics. I think this is a local control issue. I think now we need to get to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. I keep saying reading, writing and arithmetic and get off of this other stuff,” stated Rep. McBride.

House Representative Jacob Rosecrants (D-Norman) said as a former teacher, he can attest to there not being pornography in schools.

“I can’t tell if it’s just incompetence or if it’s just willful that we’re going to target our public schools and take them down. Very much like what [Supt. Walters] is trying to do with with Tulsa Public Schools right now,” stated Rep. Rosecrants.

He claims by Supt. Walters preaching there’s pornography running rampant in schools that it’s an attack on librarians, students, and districts as a whole.

“[OSDE] is trying to do insidious things in the dark to our public schools,” stated Rep. Rosecrants.

He added the books Supt. Walters included in the April packet are books he has never seen let alone heard of.

News 4’s request for information on “pornographic” books found in schools was not responded to until 130 days later.

“The Department does not maintain a list responsive to your request,” said Langston.

“I was almost speechless when I saw that this had taken that long to to reply to you. And then the reply itself was like, ‘Nothing to see here. Move on.’ Really? It’s your job to dig. It’s your job to get facts which reaching out to the State Department of Education is all about reaching out for facts and then you don’t get facts back. I don’t even know if they were found in our libraries, in our schools, which was what your open records request was requesting, and they couldn’t even answer it,” explained Rep. Rosecrants.

Rep. Rosecrants said he feels as if lawmakers and the State of Oklahoma are being lied to and manipulated by the current OSDE administration.

News 4 has sent a follow up email to Langston with a list of several questions and a request for an updated timeline, but have not heard back yet.