Oklahoma Board of Education Meet; Discuss Religion, Revoking Licenses

News 9 - June 26, 2023 6:32 am

State Superintendent Ryan Walters

An independent group wants religious changes in schools. The “Oklahoma Advisory Committee on the Founding Principles” made recommendations that State Superintendent Ryan Walters brought up at last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

One would extend every school’s *Moment of Silence into a Minute of Silence, where students would reminded of their right to pray. Other recommendations include a Western Civilization course requirement and a rule requiring classrooms have the 10 commandments posted.

Walters says the Education department will start enforcing the minute of silence.

He has not determined how he will tackle the other recommendations.

After the state board meeting, Superintendent Walters spent a few minutes taking questions.

He offered some clarity surrounding ongoing license suspensions for Oklahoma teachers who violate his policies.

Walters spoke on at least six examples of teachers who have lost their licenses. We don’t know the details behind all six, and Walters says some were voluntary. But opponents argue the department is spending too much time on rhetoric compared to other issues.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters is defending the department’s decision to revoke licenses.

Walters also claiming that due process was given to former Norman Public Schools teacher Summer Boismier, who had her hearing last week.

“It was great for the public to see all the charges that were there, letting her have her opportunity there in the process to explain what was going on in the classroom,” said Walters.

The state attempted to revoke her license for displaying a QR code in her classroom linking to a list of banned books from the Brooklyn Public Library last September.

Teachers at the state board meeting spoke against the department’s allegations of widespread indoctrination in Oklahoma public schools.

Walters claims other teachers were motivated to voluntarily surrender their licenses when they realized how drawn out revocation could be.

The state is not only targeting allegations of indoctrination; it did seek revocation of the license of a teacher from Byng who is facing charges of sexually abusing a student.

 

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