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TPS parent raises concern over district's response to HB 1775

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 11:40:37-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa Public Schools parent is voicing her concern with the district over its handling of House Bill 1775, which effectively bans critical race theory in the classroom.

Melissa Remington is worried about what her kids could be taught in a Tulsa Public School's classroom.

“We’ve never been given access just to see all the curriculum that our kids are actually getting from the teachers," Remington said.

With HB 1775 signed into law, schools are prohibited from teaching one race or sex is inherently superior to another and someone - by virtue of his or her race or sex - is inherently racist - sexist or oppressive - whether consciously or unconsciously. Remington said her biggest concern is what the district is teaching through professional development, which she believes has a social justice slant.

“Not necessarily the curriculum, it’s probably more than anything just the biases I heard, you know, over, you know, whenever my kids were zooming most of the year we spent in distance learning," Remington said.

She doesn’t believe teachers should share their political beliefs in the classroom.

“I don’t feel like that’s their place," she said. "I don’t think they should even be talking about any of those things, let alone sexual orientation. I don’t feel like that belongs in the classroom.”

Just last week, the Oklahoma State Board of Education passed a series of rules regarding HB 1775 requiring schools to have a reporting system for those who believe the district could be violating the law.

READ MORE: State Board of Education passes temporary rules on teaching critical race theory

Remington said she and another parent wrote a letter to the district, asking for its reporting process and she’s heard nothing in return.

“What we had asked the district was, we literally copied and pasted the rules directly to the district and we said how are you going to comply?" Remington said. "We want to make sure that you’re going to comply. That you’re going to be ready to go. And again, crickets from the district."

Tulsa Public Schools previously said in a statement it will not make any changes to its lessons in response to HB 1775. It also said:

"...our approach is firmly grounded in both the Oklahoma State Standards and in the belief that one human being is not “worth” more than another. We are teaching our children an accurate - and at times painful, difficult, and uncomfortable - history about our shared human experience. We cannot and will not teach those histories and experiences that reflect only the dominant white culture, just as we cannot and will not provide an education that deprives children of a true and accurate understanding of the world in which they live. As a public school district, we owe it to the communities we serve to teach the truth - our children and families need and deserve nothing less."
Tulsa Public Schools

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