House of Representatives

House Republicans Call for State Education Board to Take Immediate Action to Implement House Bill 17


7/8/2021 2:07:00 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY – 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