Bill that would restrict how racism and slavery is taught in Oklahoma schools filed at State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill has been introduced at the Oklahoma State Capitol that would limit how professors and teachers can teach about racism and slavery.

“It emphasizes teaching it balance and context,” said Representative Jim Olsen, R-Sallisaw.

Olsen is talking about House Bill 2988, which he filed at the Capitol earlier this week.

“It doesn’t prohibit anyone from teaching that America has slavery, that it’s evil and we’re better for it. Olsen says it is not forbidden to teach that we are better off without slavery.

However, the bill prohibits Oklahoma universities and school districts from teaching components of Project 1619.

Invoice contains:

“No state agency, school district, charter school, online guide is in any way sponsored by the Oklahoma Legislature, or an employee or representative of a state agency, school district, or school district. such principal, charter school, or online instruction will teach, use, or make available for use by any student any curriculum, instructional materials, or assignments designed to teach component of Project 1619 as part of any program, course syllabus or instruction in any course or program of study, including,

  1. In general, any teaching that the United States holds is more reprehensible than other nations for slavery;
  2. It is a race that is the sole oppressor of slavery;
  3. That another race was the sole victim of slavery;
  4. That America, in general, had slavery more widely and for a later time than other nations; or
  5. The primary and overarching purpose of the founding of the United States was to initiate and maintain slavery. “

“I don’t know about Oklahoma, but there are some who teach that the whole point of founding America was to start and maintain slavery, and you know, that’s not true,” Olsen said.

Some educators are voicing opposition to the bill. The chapter of the American Association of University Professors of OU wrote on Twitter, “This is very disturbing. They are enacting this legislation faster than the courts can keep up. Meanwhile, we have no intention of lying to our students or bowing to this attack on truth and academic freedom.”

“I specifically included in the text of the bill that they could teach that, we have slavery, that it is terrible. So no, they are not required to lie,” Olsen said.

Democrats opposed to the bill, such as Representative Forrest Bennett of the City of D-Oklahoma, are calling the bill “disgraceful” and a “waste of time.”

“I very much wish that our Legislature would do more, with the immense power we have, to help people. This doesn’t help everyone. Bennett says it doesn’t work to continue the conversation about race, and I think that’s an important one. “It also distracts from a lot of the other problems that Oklahoma is facing today.” Bill that would restrict how racism and slavery is taught in Oklahoma schools filed at State Capitol

Dais Johnston

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