The entire Oklahoma City Board of Education denounced a law passed Friday that bans Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools, calling it “racist” and an “insult,” numerous sources reported.
The eight-member school board said Monday that they worry House Bill 1775 will prevent accurate lessons involving race and history, according to The Oklahoman.
Ruth Veales, a board member, said the law was intended to “protect white fragility” and that the ban was an “insult” because the district has a large population of minority students.
Ruth Veales is first to speak on the item to denounce #HB1775. She says that this is an attempt to guard white fragility. Veales takes the opp to jab Paula Lewis, the Chair for not having allowed Veales to put certain items about racism on the board agenda in the past. @OKCPS
— Brett Dickerson (@BrettDOkc) May 10, 2021
“It is a situation that is so egregious to me,” she said, according to The Oklahoman.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet teaches students to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The bill prohibits public schools and universities from teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another” or that someone is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive” because of their race or sex.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill Friday.
Numerous public and private schools implemented CRT and “antiracism” instruction in classrooms. The instruction often requires students and teachers to identify how they benefit from white privilege, and some districts have reportedly told teachers not to let parents stand in the way of such lessons.
“As governor, I firmly believe that not one cent of taxpayer money should be used to define and divide young Oklahomans by their race or sex,” Stitt said in a video, after signing the bill.
My statement on HB 1775. pic.twitter.com/2EgMh7A7xZ
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) May 7, 2021
“We can, and should, teach this history without labeling a young child as an ‘oppressor’ or requiring he or she feel guilt or shame based on their race or sex,” Stitt added. “I refuse to tolerate otherwise.”
Veales criticized Stitt’s belief that students shouldn’t feel shame based on their race.
“When I listen to what the governor said in his speech, and to say it is not right for white students to feel like that they should be held responsible for the oppression that black people and others have felt because of them, but then let’s talk about the generational wealth off the back of my people. Let’s talk about that,” Veales said, according to KOCO.
Other school board members joined in on rebuking the bill.
“It’s racist. It’s cowardly. It’s micromanaging,” Meg McElhaney said, according to KOCO.
“It’s disgusting, and to think that in 2021 we could have a bill like this introduced, let alone heard in a committee, voted on and passed and signed by the governor, is absolutely appalling,” Mark Mann reportedly said.
Mark Mann says that the only way to grow is to have a “healthy conversation.” Man invokes the many injustices to POC and says that these conversations are important. Says #HB1775 is “racist” and a “dog whistle.” @OKCPS
— Brett Dickerson (@BrettDOkc) May 11, 2021
Stit said that accurate conversations about history should still take place in the classroom, but that history can be taught accurately without labeling children as oppressors due to immutable characteristics like their race or sex.
Carrie Coppernoll-Jacobs, a teacher who then became a member of the school board, said the law would have prevented her from having conversations with students as a teacher, according to The Oklahoman.
The law was signed roughly two weeks after Idaho became the first state to prevent teachers or CRT facilitators from forcing students or other school staff to adopt the ideas in CRT. (RELATED: Idaho Becomes First State To Ban Public Schools From Compelling Students To Adopt Critical Race Theory Discrimination)
The Idaho bill prohibits schools from forcing students to adhere to the belief that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior,” or that “individuals should be adversely treated” because of these characteristics.