I read different articles about education in Oklahoma. Primarily criticism of the 1775 House Bill. Like all other teachers, I want education in Oklahoma and throughout the country to be of high quality and equal to all students who attend our schools. So not having much information about the legislation in question, I decided to download it and read it for myself.
I wanted to know if the law seemed to promote education by subject and equally for all students. I was also wondering if gender and race were addressed in the act itself. I read in Part B “The provisions of this subsection do not prohibit the teaching of concepts consistent with Oklahoma academic standards.” This means that standard subject matter approved in Oklahoma Academic Standards can be taught.
It also contains provisions that provide further guidance. He says that no race is superior to another. Another provision states that an individual, because of their race or gender, is not inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously. So he tries to keep everyone on an equal footing. Along with this line of thought, another provision states that no one shall be discriminated against or treated unfavorably solely or in part because of their race or gender.
HB 1775 addresses the ideas of character and respect. Another provision states that members of one race or gender cannot and should not attempt to treat others disrespectfully because of their race or gender. That the moral character of an individual is not determined by his race or his sex.
It also addresses discomfort and responsibility. He says an individual should not feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or gender. Continuing, it is said that students should not be held accountable for actions committed in the past due to their race or gender. This law can be viewed online by typing “Oklahoma HB 1775 copy”.
This law is an attempt to keep schools a safe place for students to learn their subject according to Oklahoma academic standards. It is also a means that can prevent individuals with an agenda or activists from teaching what they want without the approval of supervisors. If I were an administrator, I would ask all teachers to read the law in its entirety and sign that they read and understand it.
Ragon Steele is an educator in Bartlesville.