OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Leaders of several Native American tribes are calling on Oklahoma lawmakers to repeal a bill that bans critical race theory from being taught in classrooms.
Members of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes approved a resolution that called on the Oklahoma Legislature to repeal House Bill 1775.
The measure has caused quite a stir recently.
The bill prohibits educational activities or curriculum that implies any individual should feel discomfort on account of their race or sex.
The bill states, in part, that school courses can’t make any individual “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.”
Since the bill’s passage, many educators have expressed concern about teaching history accurately without being punished.
Already, two Oklahoma school districts have faced penalties due to violating HB 1775.
The tribes say the measure threatens to derail the progress they have made in recent years to provide an accurate depiction of the United States and Oklahoma’s complex relationship with Native Americans.
“Ignoring difficult pieces of history because they may cause some ‘discomfort’ is dangerous and does a disservice to students who should be taught history through documented facts and accurate portrayals of the time periods being studied,” the Resolution states. “Accurate historical education is essential for Oklahoma public school students to understand present conditions and avoid repeating past mistakes, especially when it comes Native Americans and other groups who have experienced historical injustice.”
Lawmakers in support of the bill say the resolution is not needed.
“They are confused because they say that this will not allow for the teaching of history. That is demonstratively false. If you read the law, it says that teachers can continue to teach according to the Oklahoma standards, which the Oklahoma standards do include history,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. disagreed with Dahm’s perspective.
“Students deserve to learn accurate history, even the uncomfortable parts. We should respect Oklahoma students enough to know they can handle the truth. House Bill 1775 is a solution in search of a problem. It derails the progress Oklahoma has made to teach the full, complex history of our state’s relationship with Native American tribes. Our Five Tribes call on this law to be repealed, because Oklahoma can’t move forward unless we understand how we got here,” Hoskin said in a statement.