OKLAHOMA CITY – Because Oklahoma public schools are supported by taxpayer dollars, Sen. George Burns wants to ensure classes for history, government, social studies, and other similar subjects are not politicized. He has filed Senate Bill 1174 to protect teachers of these subjects from being forced to discuss controversial current events, public policy, or social affairs of a partisan nature with their students.
“The classroom is no place to push partisan politics or agendas. It is beyond unethical for districts to use tax dollars to force educators to teach controversial issues in an effort to indoctrinate young, impressionable minds,” Burns said. “Fair and unbiased dialogue about public policies and political affairs is educational but requiring the teaching of partisan beliefs will not be tolerated in our state. My bill will protect public school educators from unjust teaching requirements and provide guidelines for those who choose to engage in such dialogue with their students.”
SB 1174 would also prohibit schools from promoting action civics, protest civics, or project-based civics, which requires students to participate in ideologically partisan protests, lobbying campaigns or internships with political advocacy organizations outside of school as part of their required coursework. The state Department of Education, nor public schools, would be allowed to accept private funding for curriculum, materials, or professional development for courses in history, civics, social studies, or similar subjects.
“Political advocacy organizations around the nation are providing private funding to schools to not only push their political agenda but also in exchange for students’ participation in their campaigns, protests and internships. This bill will ensure politics stay out of Oklahoma classrooms,” Burns said. “Our public education system serves families situated at every point on the political spectrum and therefore should serve all equally by remaining politically and socially neutral.”
SB 1174 will be available for consideration when session begins February 7.
For more information, contact: Sen. Burns: (405) 521-5614 or George.Burns@oksenate.gov