OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma senator has proposed two bills for the upcoming legislative session and some people may consider them to be controversial.
Senator Rob Standridge, R-Norman, filed Senate Bills 1142 and 1141 on Thursday, both along similar lines: what topics cannot be promoted in Oklahoma schools, both primary and secondary education.
The first, Senate Bill 1142, prevents schools from having or promoting books that address sex, sexual preferences and gender identity in Oklahoma schools.
“I think schools should focus on math and science and reading and those topics that taxpayers expect their money to be paid for,” said Sen. Standridge. “I don’t think that’s the place for teaching sexual orientation and sexual identity.”
The second, Senate Bill 1141, focuses on higher education. It prohibits colleges from mandating students to take courses that are not a core requirement.
“Let them take the courses specific to their degree,” said Sen. Standridge. “We should treat them as adults. If they want to take the diversity class or whatever class it is that the the new woke culture is pushing on them at OU. They can opt to take that, but let’s don’t force them.”
But a former Oklahoma teacher, John Thompson, said he feels these bills would not benefit Oklahoma students at all.
“They’ve upgraded to a full scale assault on public education at conversations in public education. Censoring the libraries,” said Thompson. “I’m afraid that assault is going to have a long term effect.”
Thompson said incorporating these ideas in the classroom is a good thing. It helps prepare students for life in the real world.
“We need to be able to teach students whether it’s in college or in public school, to have a fulfilling life,” said Thompson. “And if you’re talking about college, learning about diversity, communicating with diverse people, that’s an essential skill for making a living once you’ve graduated.”
Sen. Standridge did clarify to News 4 that the object of the bill is to keep certain books out of the library, not to outlaw discussion.