The Tulsa Public Schools and Mustang Public Schools are in danger of losing their accreditation after the state board of education found them guilty of violating House Bill 1775. This law prohibits the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings in taxpayer-funded public schools. The Oklahoma school districts were examined at a board meeting on Thursday and reprimanded accordingly.
The law was passed in May of 2021 but enacted after an outside source was hired by the Tulsa Public Schools to train teachers to be shamed for any white heritage and the crimes of their ancestors. This was executed in August of 2021 and did not include students, but likely affected their content in the classroom. Then, in January of this year, the Mustang Public Schools conducted an anti-bullying lesson that devolved into CRT practices. These Oklahoma school districts adhere to a 5-step accreditation tier, and these infractions threaten the schools’ status.
Accreditation is a system that ensures schools are operating at a functional level. Schools must follow a set of standards in order to maintain their accredited status to properly serve students. This system is based on many factors, from attendance to teacher ratings, and various criteria that affect the accreditation status. The Oklahoma school districts’ success has been linked to following state rules and guidelines. With the passage of House Bill 1775, these public schools are required by law to avoid teaching practices that focus on vilifying races or treating students differently based on their identity.
Despite this, the two Oklahoma school districts in question believe they are above the law. Instead of teaching children core classes like math, science, English, and unbiased history, the Tulsa Public Schools and Mustang Public Schools chose to focus on divisive theories (which have yet to improve student success rates) after the new law was passed. In order to maintain a safe, healthy learning environment that supports all students regardless of their identity politics, the Oklahoma State Board of Education ruled to enforce a level-3 accreditation punishment.
The Oklahoma school district board voted four to two to punish both cases. These schools are now issued “accreditation with warning.” If further incidents are revealed, the state could move to revoke accreditation altogether.
As it stands right now, the Oklahoma school districts in question have been given the opportunity to comply with state laws and regulations. The school board admitted that they offered the warning because they wished to “be fair.” Unfortunately, another scandal has been sparked which may upset this ruling and lead to further punishment.
The Tulsa Public Schools have recently come under fire for allowing graphic sexual content into school libraries. “Gender Queer,” and “Flamer,” were both accessible to middle school students despite the adult nature of the content within these titles. This has been a serious issue throughout many public schools across the nation which have allowed these books in school libraries on the basis that they offer LGBTQIA+ students support and promote diversity and inclusion. Parents have rallied against such materials and the results vary by area.
How this will affect the future of the Oklahoma school districts is unknown. For now, both the Tulsa Public Schools and Mustang Public Schools have been warned. In order to remain accredited and receive the proper funding, they must comply with state rules and regulations, as that is true of all taxpayer-funded public school districts. Oklahoma Public Schools Disciplined For Teaching CRT