Tulsa mayor doesn’t mince words on critical race theory in schools

Mayor G.T. Bynum asks people to read the bill instead of listening to rhetoric

TULSA — Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt appeared on FOX News Monday after calls for him to be removed from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

“Now more than ever, we need policies that bring us closer together – not rip us apart,” said Gov. Stitt.

Stitt signed the critical race theory bill into law on Friday.

The law prohibits public school teachers from teaching certain concepts of race and racism

KRMG Morning News Host Dan Potter asked the mayor, who is also on the commission, if he supports removing Stitt.

“Absolutely not,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “I think the governor did the right thing on that. I don’t support the teaching of critical race theory in schools either.”

The commission sent a letter to the governor last week asking him to veto the bill.

“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 of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission

Mayor Bynum says there is nothing in the bill that prohibits teaching about the massacre.

Read a copy of the bill below:

ENROLLED HOUSE BILL NO. 1775 By: West (Kevin), Stearman, Stark, Caldwell (Chad), Crosswhite Hader, Williams, Olsen, West (Rick), Gann, Bashore, Kendrix, Smith, Grego, Pfeiffer, Martinez, Roe, Sneed, Marti, Steagall, Russ and Conley of the House and Bullard, Hamilton, Jett Standridge, Dahm, Weaver, Bergstrom, Merrick, Pederson, Rogers, Burns and Stephens of the Senate An Act relating to education; prohibiting certain students within certain institutions from being required to engage in certain training or counseling; allowing for voluntary counseling; prohibiting orientation or requirement that presents any form of certain stereotyping or bias; directing promulgation of rules pursuant to certain act and subject to certain approval; prohibiting certain application; prohibiting employees of certain schools from requiring certain concepts to be part of a course; specifying concepts; directing promulgation of rules pursuant to certain act and subject to certain approval; providing for codification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency. SUBJECT: Education BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA: ENR. H. B. NO. 1775 Page 2 SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 24-157 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows: A. 1. No enrolled student of an institution of higher education within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall be required to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling; provided, voluntary counseling shall not be prohibited. Any orientation or requirement that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or a bias on the basis of race or sex shall be prohibited. 2. Pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shall promulgate rules, subject to approval by the Legislature, to implement the provisions of this subsection. B. The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit the teaching of concepts that align to the Oklahoma Academic Standards. 1. No teacher, administrator or other employee of a school district, charter school or virtual charter school shall require or make part of a course the following concepts: a. one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, b. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, c. an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex, d. members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex, e. an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex, f. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex, ENR. H. B. NO. 1775 Page 3 g. any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex, or h. meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race. 2. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules, subject to approval by the Legislature, to implement the provisions of this subsection. SECTION 2. This act shall become effective July 1, 2021. SECTION 3. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health or safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.

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