The Oklahoma State Board of Education disciplined two school districts for violating a new law that prevents Critical Race Theory, from being taught in the public school system last week.
The board held a meeting on Thursday, where they determined both Tulsa Public Schools and Mustang Public Schools violated House Bill (HB) 1775 in separate incidents last year. They subsequently voted to give both school districts an “accreditation with warning,” FOX 25 in Oklahoma City reported.
The warning is the third of the education board’s five-step accreditation tiers. It requires the districts to show they have made the required changes to re-meet the board’s standards.
HB 1775 recommends disciplinary action for potential violators of “accreditation with deficiencies,” the second step. However, the board voted to increase the penalty, FOX 25 reported.
The board first considered an incident with Tulsa Public Schools in which a third-party vendor allegedly held a training session for teachers that included elements meant “to shame white people for past offenses in history,” Board member and State Representative Ajay Pitman said, per the report. The alleged training did not involve students.
The incident happened in August 2021, before HB 1775 was enacted into law.
The board voted four to two to discipline the school district.
A second complaint against Mustang Public Schools was also considered.
The complaint involved an anti-bullying lesson that a teacher within the district performed with their students. It was filed in January 2022.
The board similarly voted four to two to give Mustang Public Schools an “accreditation with warning,” as it was “wanting to be fair” regarding the Tulsa complaint.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 1775 into law on May 7, 2021.
The new law “protects our children across the state from being taught revisionist history and that ‘one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,’ or that ‘an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,’” said State Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, in a statement after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against it.
The pair of school district penalties come as Oklahoma Education Secretary Ryan Walters recently highlighted explicit content from two books made available to middle school students by Tulsa Public Schools.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends” Friday, Walters criticized the school district’s superintendent for standing by the graphic material.
Walters made a Facebook post about the two books, “Gender Queer” and “Flamer,” drawing attention to the graphic nature of their content, but his post was taken down by Facebook
The social media site said the material in the post was too graphic.
Walters doubled down, noting it’s “wild” that even Facebook’s guidance for its community (which requires users to be at least 13 years or older) is higher than that of the Tulsa middle school.
“We’ve got woke Facebook that’s got higher standards than the superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools,” he told host Steve Doocy. “It’s just outrageous.”
“This is indicative of why this is one of the lowest performing schools in our state. We’ve got folks in positions of power and administrators that are more focused on a woke ideology and an agenda rather than making sure kids can read and write,” he added.
Fox News’ Amy Nelson contributed to this report.