Friday, July 09, 2021

GOP legislators call for State Education Board to immediately and fully implement anti-CRT law


House Republicans Call for State Education Board to Take Immediate Action to Implement House Bill 1775

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 8th) – A number of House Republicans today joined Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, in 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 special meeting.

West is the author of House Bill 1775, signed into law by the governor this year. The bill took effect July 1. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, is the Senate author of the bill.

The measure prohibits Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from incorporating messages that promote or encourage race and sex discrimination in any course instruction. It also ensures students are not characterized, classified, categorically assigned characteristics, or shamed based solely on their race or sex. It also prohibits state higher education institutions from requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling. Voluntary counseling is permitted.

“Teachers deserve clear guidelines when they start this school year so they can obey the law created by the passage of House Bill 1775,” West said. “To delay the implementation of rules that follow the intent of the legislation is a disservice to students, parents and educators, causing needless fear and confusion over what is allowed and disallowed in our public school classrooms.”

West stressed that HB 1775 does not stop the teaching of history or anything currently in Oklahoma education standards, including curriculum that shows historical examples of racism or genocide. Teachers still will be able to teach about slavery in America, the Holocaust, the Tulsa Race Riot and other topics. Students also can discuss these events and their true feelings about them.

Widespread opposition exists statewide about the dangers of teaching principles of critical race theory, a controversial practice based on Marxist ideology designed to teach children to distrust others based on race. The concepts included in critical race theory teach that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of marginalized people groups. Many Oklahomans are concerned it promotes implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color, while assigning blame and guilt for events in the past to people living in the present.

West said HB1775 is very clear in what it disallows, and the rules pending the State Board of Education’s approval are equally clear.

HB 1775 specifically states that no teacher, administrator or other employee of a school district, charter school or virtual charter school shall require or make part of a course the following concepts:

  • one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,
  • an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,
  • an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex,
  • members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex,
  • an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex,
  • an individual, 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,
  • any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex, or
  • meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.

Joining West in his statement are the following representatives:

Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon
Rep. Steve Bashore, R-Miami
Rep. Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa
Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow
Rep. Ty Burns, R-Pawnee
Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid
Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle
Rep. Rusty Cornwell, R-Vinita
Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont
Rep. Bob Ed Culver, R-Tahlequah
Rep. Eddy Dempsey, R-Valliant
Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa
Rep. Mike Dobrinski, R-Okeene
Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee
Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola
Rep. Jim Grego, R-Wilburton
Rep. David Hardin, R-Stilwell
Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin
Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang
Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane
Rep. Gerrid Kendrix, R-Altus
Rep. Dell Kerbs, R-Shawnee
Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore
Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber
Rep. Robert Manger, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. T.J. Marti, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond
Rep. Stan May, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore
Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka
Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond
Rep. Carl Newton, R-Cherokee
Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa
Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland
Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond
Rep. Kenton Patzkowsky, R-Balko
Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando 
Rep. Randy Randleman, R-Eufaula
Rep. Eric Roberts, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy
Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay
Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell
Rep. Lonnie Sims, R-Jenks
Rep. David Smith, R-Arpelar
Rep. Chris Sneed, R-Fort Gibson
Rep. Marilyn Stark, R-Bethany
Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon
Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville
Rep. Danny Sterling, R-Tecumseh
Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore
Rep. Mark Vancuren, R-Owasso
Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston
Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener
Rep. Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole
Rep. Max Wolfley, R-Oklahoma City

Senator Bullard urges full implementation of House Bill 1775

OKLAHOMA CITY(July 7th)  – On Wednesday, Sen. David Bullard released the following statement 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. During the 2021 legislative session, the state legislature passed HB 1775, for which Bullard served as the Senate principal author of, to stop race and sex discrimination in Oklahoma schools, and ensure that students are not characterized, classified, categorically assigned characteristics, or shamed based solely on their race or sex. While HB 1775 does not specifically reference “critical race theory,” the bill does prohibit the use of discriminatory tenets and practices being taught in classrooms around the state.  HB 1775, which went into effect July 1, 2021, directs the Oklahoma State Board of Education to promulgate rules to ensure the expedient and appropriate implementation of the law.

“Throughout history, there are countless examples of brave Americans who fought against injustices and sought to ensure freedom and liberty for all people. There is no better example than that of Harriet Tubman. A former slave, she worked to escape bondage—only to return and commit her life to freeing slaves from captivity. She said, of her life’s work: ‘I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.’ Much like our nation’s past heroes, especially heroes like Harriet Tubman, we must challenge evil wherever it hides. 

“There are many in the Oklahoma Legislature who believe that teaching 'truth' is freedom. 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. 

“We call upon Superintendent Hofmeister and the State Board of Education to move without delay to adopt rules at Monday’s special State Board of Education meeting. Rules implementing HB 1775 are necessary to ensure that accuracy, transparency, and truthfulness are the foundational principles of Oklahoma’s education system—not indoctrination and discrimination.

“Even more importantly, Oklahoma teachers deserve to know how HB 1775 will be implemented for the 2021-22 school year; they need clarity on how the State Board of Education will enforce this law prior to the start of the school year. Likewise, parents and students have a right to know how this bill will be implemented in their child’s classroom.

“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.”

UPDATE: As of Thursday afternoon, 17 Republican senators had joined Sen. Bullard in urging the State Board of Education and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister to fully implement provisions of House Bill 1775 at their special school board meeting Monday. The senators include Mark Allen, R-Spiro, Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, George Burns, R-Pollard, Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, Shane Jett, R-Shawnee, James Leewright, R-Bristow, Jake Merrick, R-Yukon, Casey Murdock, R-Felt, Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, Cody Rogers, R-Tulsa, Frank Simpson, R-Springer, Rob Standridge, R-Norman, Blake Stephens, R-Tahlequah, Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, and Darrell Weaver, R-Moore.

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