Oklahoma City school board denounces new law banning critical race theory as protecting ‘White fragility’

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“But then let’s talk about the generational wealth, all on the backs of my people, let’s talk about that. And what about us as we sometimes don’t know how we’re going to make it from one day until the next.”

The eight-member Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education on Monday unanimously denounced a new law signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt that implicitly bans the teachings of critical race theory from being included in the state’s public school curriculum.

Board member Ruth Veales, who is Black and Native American, argued the legislation was attempting to quiet discussions regarding race “in order to protect White fragility.”

“As a district that’s over 80% students of color, this is definitely an insult,” Veales, who is the longest serving board member going on 12 years, said at the meeting also livestreamed online. “It is a situation that is so egregious to me.”

Stitt, a Republican, signed House Bill 1775 into law on Friday. In part, the bill states that “no teacher shall require or make part of a course that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”

Though the bill does not name “critical race theory,” it does list several concepts that cannot be made part of a course by school employees, such as the belief “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.”

The bill also prevents educators from teaching students that “any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex,” or that “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.”

But Veales took further issue with a statement made by the governor regarding the legislation.

“When I listen to what the governor said in his speech, and to say that it is not right for White students to feel like they should be held responsible for the oppression that Black people and others have felt by cause of them,” Veales continued at the school board meeting Monday. “But then let’s talk about the generational wealth, all on the backs of my people, let’s talk about that. And what about us as we sometimes don’t know how we’re going to make it from one day until the next.”

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The eight-member Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education on Monday unanimously denounced a new law signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt that implicitly bans the teachings of critical race theory from being included in the state’s public school curriculum.

Board member Ruth Veales, who is Black and Native American, argued the legislation was attempting to quiet discussions regarding race “in order to protect White fragility.”

“As a district that’s over 80% students of color, this is definitely an insult,” Veales, who is the longest serving board member going on 12 years, said at the meeting also livestreamed online. “It is a situation that is so egregious to me.”

Stitt, a Republican, signed House Bill 1775 into law on Friday. In part, the bill states that “no teacher shall require or make part of a course that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.” Though the bill does not name “critical race theory,” it does list several concepts that cannot be made part of a course by school employees, such as the belief “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.”

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The bill also prevents educators from teaching students that “any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex,” or that “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.”

But Veales took further issue with a statement made by the governor regarding the legislation.

“When I listen to what the governor said in his speech, and to say that it is not right for White students to feel like they should be held responsible for the oppression that Black people and others have felt by cause of them,” Veales continued at the school board meeting Monday.

“But then let’s talk about the generational wealth, all on the backs of my people, let’s talk about that. And what about us as we sometimes don’t know how we’re going to make it from one day until the next.”

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