Here is Janelle Stecklein at The Ada News:
A bill attempting to ban the teaching of “critical race theory” in Oklahoma’s public schools cleared the Legislature Thursday.
House Bill 1775, which also bans mandatory gender and sexual diversity training for students enrolled in Oklahoma colleges and universities, now advances to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk. It passed overwhelmingly along largely party lines.
State Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, the measure’s author, said critical race theorists are pressing a “grim and pessimistic narrative” about gender and race in America. The critical race theory movement attempts to examine how race intersects with American society, and how the legacy of that racism shapes issues today.
“The people who are pushing ideas like critical race theory, have to have conflict — class conflict, race conflict or some other conflict,” West said, adding that critical race theory is based on “Marxist” ideology. “They have to have an enemy that they can point to. It’s up to us to stop this because we are all one race – the human race.”
He said the measure doesn’t stop the teaching of the past. It simply says that teachers won’t make anyone feel guilty for something that happened in the past.
West said the same critical race theory supporters who push for diversity and inclusion are marginalizing or silencing dissenting voices.
“Let’s shed light on critical race theory to show it for what it is — a complete deception that will absolutely destroy our nation,” West said. “In this time of cancel culture and virtue signaling, we must have courage.”
Read the entire piece here.
A few observations:
Who is going to monitor whether or not critical race theory is taught in Oklahoma schools? I am guessing that very few K-12 teachers have specific units and lesson plans titled “Critical Race Theory.”
What are the implications of such a bill for the teaching of American history in Oklahoma schools?
Critical race theory teaches that racism is an “ordinary” or “common” part of everyday life. It is more than just individual acts of prejudice against people of color, it is a system of discrimination built into American institutions, especially the law. It is impossible to teach American history without noting this. Any good American history teacher–liberal or conservative– will engage in pedagogy that intersects with this aspect of critical race theory.
Critical Race Theory teaches that White people have benefited from systemic racism. It is impossible to teach American history without noting this. Any good American history teacher–liberal or conservative– will engage in pedagogy that intersects with the aspect of critical race theory.
Critical Race Theory teaches that race is socially constructed. This means that the racial categories we use are not biologically determined but invented by human beings. Any good American history teacher–liberal or conservative– will engage in pedagogy that intersects with the aspect of critical race theory.
Whatever Oklahoma governor Stitt does with this new bill, American history teachers will continue to teach the principles of critical race theory in public schools.