/  07.30.2022

Two Oklahoma school districts are on thin ice with the state school board. Mustang Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools are both accused of violating state law that prohibits the teaching of critical race theory concepts. As a consequence, the school board lowered the districts’ accreditation status.

The districts now have “accreditation with warning” status. They are only one step away from losing their accreditation all together. Mustang Public Schools were reprimanded for an incident that occurred this past January. According to KFOR News, students allegedly felt uncomfortable while participating in a classroom activity that asked if they ever felt bullied or discriminated against. 

A report emphasized that the lesson was to show “how important it is to treat others with kindness and respect since people never really know what others are going through.” Tulsa Public Schools was admonished after a teacher complained about a training video teetering along the lines of critical race theory.

“There was an audio portion in one segment of a 20-minute presentation that actually crossed that line,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said. A report of the incident claimed “statements that specifically shame white people for past offenses in history, and state that all are implicitly racially biased by nature,” were the issue. 

Lauren Pertain Barber, senior manager of communication at Tulsa Public Schools, issued a statement on the matter. “In Tulsa, we are teaching our children an accurate — and at times painful, difficult, and uncomfortable — history about our shared human experiences. We also teach in a beautifully diverse community and need our team to work together to be prepared to do that well,” said the statement. 

Critical race theory has come under fire as political parties grapple with the realities of racism, implicit biases, and prejudice in the country. In several states, teaching of curriculum that remotely touches on the racist parts of American history has been stifled and sometimes prohibited at the K-12 learning levels.

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