- An Oklahoma teacher has quit after making banned classroom books electronically available to students and violating the states’ Critical Race Theory ban.
- Oklahoma officials believe teachers who want to use the classroom to promote indoctrination should leave the classroom.
- “The best, brightest and good teachers don’t want to indoctrinate children; it goes against the very fabric of what it means to be a good teacher,” Oklahoma Education Secretary Ryan Walters told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If that’s what a teacher is trying to do, he’s not a good teacher. In Oklahoma State, we want teachers to be there to empower students, not indoctrinate or brainwash them.
Oklahoma officials are calling on teachers who push critical race theory (CRT) to leave the classroom after an Oklahoma teacher spoke out against the states education law at the following his resignation.
Summer Boismier quit her job as a high school teacher at Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma, after she shared a QR code in her classroom linking students to “Books Unbanned,” a Brooklyn Public Library program , which allowed students to access books prohibited from being taught by state law. The law, HB 1775, prohibits teaching that one race or gender is superior to another, in an effort to prevent the teaching of CRT and some elements of gender ideology. (RELATED: ‘Rise Up and Demand Accountability’: Tulsa Schools Warned for Violating CRT Ban)
Public schools in Normandy, where Boismier taught, found the list of books accessible through the link shared by Boismier to be in breach of the law and suspended Boismier. Oklahoma Education Secretary Ryan Walters argued in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation that Boismier’s actions violated the 1775 House Bill and that Boismier and other like-minded teachers should seek different careers.
“Great teachers don’t try to indoctrinate children,” Walters told DCNF. “We passed the bill to make sure that if that is your goal, if your goal is to indoctrinate children, you have to find another job. Our goal as a state is to empower parents and the education of their children and to equip and attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession.
Boismier published a QR Code with a sign that read “absolutely do not scan this” in her classroom on the first day of class, KOKH reported. Once scanned, the QR code took students to the Brooklyn Public Library program for “Books Unbanned”; once on site, students could sign up for an electronic library card where they could access books banned from classrooms under state laws.
Books on the website include “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which deals with a child’s experience with sexual orientation, “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You,” a book that focuses on anti-racism and the origin of racist thoughts, and “Not All Boys Are Blue: A Memory Manifesto”, a story about a black and queer boy that covers sexual orientation and gender identity.
A parent’s complaint about the QR code prompted the school to put Boismier on leave, but she was asked to return to class for the first day of class, KOKH reported. However, Boismier decided to quit his job on Thursday.
“I will say that the district has offered me my job, allowing me to return to class starting tomorrow morning,” Boismier said in a statement to KOKH. “However, there were fundamental ideological differences between me and the district representatives that I could not overcome. HB 1775 created an impossible working environment for teachers and a devastating learning environment for students. For the second year in a row, students at Norman High will find themselves without a certified English teacher for an extended period. The fault lies with Governor Stitt and the state’s Republican leaders.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) expressed its support for Bosimier and his right to free speech in a statement to KOKH.
“The chilling effect on Oklahoma’s school curriculum created by the language blurring of HB1775 will continue to impact the integrity of Oklahoma’s education system for years to come,” the group said. . “Every young person should be able to read and learn the history and views of all communities.”
Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law HB 1775 in May 2022. If a teacher wants to promote theories prohibited by law, Oklahoma is not the state for it, the communications director said. de Stitt, Carly Atchinson, at the DCNF.
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their child learning in K-12 that he or she is inherently racist or sexist, that he or she should be discriminated against because of his or her race. or gender, that he or she bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or gender, that he or she should feel guilty about their race or gender, that the hard work ethic is racist, or that one race or gender is superior or another race or gender, all of which are concepts prohibited by law,” Atchinson told DCNF. “Educators who choose to resign because they ideologically oppose banning these racist and sexist concepts in the classroom have every right to do so and probably should.”
Boismier’s actions are not what Walters thinks is acceptable of an Oklahoma teacher, he told the DCNF.
“The best, brightest and good teachers don’t want to indoctrinate children; it goes against the very fabric of what it means to be a good teacher,” Walters told DCNF. “If that’s what a teacher is trying to do, he’s not a good teacher. In Oklahoma State, we want teachers to be there to empower students, not indoctrinate or brainwash them.
Boismier and Norman public schools did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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