Gov. Stitt signs bill banning Oklahoma schools from teaching certain topics about race, gender

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 1775 into law on Friday, essentially banning public education institutions from teaching critical race theory and some gender-related topics.

Stitt announced the signing of the bill on Twitter.

“Now more than ever, we need policies that bring us together,” he said in his video announcement.

“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. I refuse to tolerate otherwise.”

Stitt signed the bill despite public opposition including members of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

“If this bill becomes law it will have serious implications on teaching the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in schools, as well as much of the history of the U.S. which is rife with racism, sexism and discomfort,” said Phil Armstrong, project director for the commission said in a letter to Stitt before the signing.

>> Read the full bill here

State Rep. Kevin West (R-Moore) said last week he supports the bill as a way to set boundaries in schools.

“This bill says that we’re not going to teach people because of their race or their sex they are inherently evil for something they had nothing to do with,” West says.

The bill also bans colleges and universities from requiring students to go through mandatory “gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.”

“At Oklahoma State University, we have embraced civility, diversity, and inclusion in a concerted effort to make sure every student, staff, and faculty member knows they are valued. We strive to build a community built on mutual respect. Preparing our graduates to meet the challenges of working in a diverse global community is part of our educational mission. We will follow the law and will respect the decision of students who prefer not to participate. Our hope is many students will see the value of becoming more culturally aware.”

—  Oklahoma State University

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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