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OKC School Board Condemns New Law That Prohibits Critical Race Theory In Schools

Flickr / texasbackroads

A new law that bans Critical Race Theory, or really much discussion of race in the classroom, has drawn criticism from educators and support from Oklahoma Republican leaders.

House Bill 1775 was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Kevin Stitt. It prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which examines the way race and racism have influenced American society, politics and legal systems.

Teachers and education advocates say the new law will prevent hard conversations from happening in the classroom and will lead to sanitized history.

The law was unanimously condemned in a resolution by the state’s largest traditional district Monday night. Oklahoma City Public Schools board member Ruth Veales says the bill will limit classroom discussions on history and race.

"This is definitely an insult... to try to shut the voices down of people in order to protect white fragility. It is sad," Veales said.

But GOP lawmakers and leaders continue to defend the bill. Secretary of Education Ryan Walters penned an op-ed Monday defending the measure.

Stitt said HB 1775 will ensure students are comfortable in the classroom and not made to feel like oppressors.

Ultimately, difficult topics like the Tulsa Race Massacre remain in the state’s standards. That means teachers still have to discuss them.

The legislation, which takes effect on July 1st, also prevents colleges and universities from mandating students go through gender or sexual diversity training.

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Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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