House of Representatives

Rep. Kevin West Comments on NEA Push to Promote Critical Race Theory in Schools

7/7/2021 2:44:00 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, today commented on news that the National Education Association (NEA) vowed to support and promote the use of Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms at its recent annual meeting and representative assembly.

“When we ran legislation to prohibit the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Oklahoma public schools, we heard multiple allegations that this wasn’t a problem and this wasn’t being taught in our schools,” West said. “Now we see that the largest teachers’ union in the nation, and the parent organization of the largest teachers’ union in the state, is pushing this harmful curriculum. This proves that Oklahoma Republican legislators were prudent to get in front of this issue and stop this increasing push to indoctrinate our children.”

NEA is the parent organization of the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), which reports 16,560 active members in the state. OEA members took part in NEA’s recent virtual conference.

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 certain messages about sex and race into any course instruction and also prohibits state higher education institutions from requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling. Voluntary counseling is permitted.

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 feelings about them.

Critical Race Theory, however, 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 marginalized people groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.

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.