Oklahoma Teachers Could Have Licenses Suspended if They Cover Certain Race Concepts

Oklahoma public school teachers could have their licenses revoked if they don't comply with new rules prohibiting the teaching of certain concepts about race and racism, the Associated Press reported. The State Board of Education approved the emergency rules Monday with only one opposing vote.

Under the rules, public school teachers can't cover eight specific concepts on race. This includes the idea that because of their race or sex, certain people can be inherently racist or sexist, even unknowingly.

Additionally, the rules forbid teaching that certain students should feel at fault or uncomfortable because of their race or sex. Carlisha Bradley, the board's only Black member and the one who voted no, said that the new rules are a detriment to the curriculums of students.

"With these rules, we are robbing students of having a high-quality education," she said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Critical Race Theory Protest
A new rule in Oklahoma means that public school teachers could lose their licenses if they teach their students about some race-related topics. People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican authors of the bill said it targeted critical race theory, which is a way of thinking about America's history through the lens of racism, although there is no mention in the bill of critical race theory, which is not typically taught in K-12 schools.

Democrats in the Legislature who opposed the bill argued it was a waste of time and addressed a non-existent problem.

Several current and former teachers addressed the board and said they support the new rules.

The new rules authorize parents of students to inspect curriculum, instructional materials, class assignments and lesson plans to ensure compliance and set up a method for individuals to file complaints. Public schools are required to investigate complaints, and a teacher's license can be suspended if they are found to have violated any provision of the rule.

CRT Protest
In Oklahoma, teachers are being subjected to a new rule banning certain lessons about race and sex. People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images