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The Poteau FFA visited Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, at the state Capitol last week. West invited them to stay to hear the presentation of House Bill 1775 on the House floor.
The legislation would prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from incorporating certain messages about sex and race into any course instruction earned final passage in the House. The bill also will prohibit requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling in the schools.
The bill’s author was questioned for several hours and it then faced debate from multiple members on both sides of the issue. West said the FFA members expressed a great interest in hearing the questions and debate.
“I’m proud of these young adults and their leadership skills,” West said. “In my book they are among the best and brightest in the state. The fact that they wanted to stay and hear an important bill on the House floor and take part in the government process was impressive.”
HB 1775 specifically prohibits Critical Race Theory from being taught in Oklahoma public schools and universities. The theory is based on Marxist ideology that is designed to teach children to hate American exceptionalism and distrust others based on skin color or gender. Additionally, it teaches that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of black people and other marginalized groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.
West said the theory, which already is being taught in some schools in Oklahoma, is a form of indoctrination.
The bill passed with a vote of 70-19 and now awaits the governor’s consideration of signing it into law.