Bill Prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” Curriculum Passes House
Mike Seals - April 29, 2021 10:42 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – A House bill, amended in the state Senate, that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from incorporating certain messages about sex and race into any course instruction earned final passage in the House today. The bill also will prohibit requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling in the schools.
House Bill 1775 is authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore.
“This bill will in no way stop the teaching of history or anything currently in our Oklahoma education standards, including curriculum that shows historical examples of racism or genocide,” West said. “This bill simply says that teachers can’t force a student to answer that they are inherently racist or sexist or that they must feel personally responsible for things perpetrated in the past by people of a similar race or gender.”
West said state public schools and universities are currently teaching the curriculum and requiring the training, which brought the need for the legislation.
He said much of the curriculum known as “Critical Race Theory” is based on Marxist ideology that is designed to teach children to hate American exceptionalism and distrust others based on skin color or gender. Additionally it teaches that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of black people and other marginalized groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.
Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, a co-author of the bill added, “In a time when our country must unify and work through problems together, the last thing our students need is to learn divisive rhetoric not based in fact. We should be teaching the fundamental equality that is part of the American ideal, not teaching kids that by virtue of their race or sex they bear some sort of responsibility for past atrocities.”
The bill 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.
HB 1775 also specifies that no enrolled student of an institution of higher education within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall be required to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling. Voluntary counseling is not prohibited.
“These trainings have our students taking multiple choice tests asking them a litany of questions about gender and sexual diversity,” West said. “If they get the question incorrect according to the parameters of the test, it does not move onto the next question, but rather it makes them choose answers until they land on the approved choice. This is a blatant attempt to indoctrinate our children to not think for themselves, but rather think how the test program would like them to think.”
The bill requires the state Regents and the state Board of Education to promulgate rules to implement the provisions contained within it. If signed by the governor, the Act would become effective immediately.
Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, drafted the amendment to the bill as the Senate author.