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ACLU challenges Oklahoma CRT ban

Rep. Steve West sponsored the Oklahoma bill restricting critical race theory in classrooms earlier this year. Associated Press/File photo by Sue Ogrocki

ACLU challenges Oklahoma CRT ban

The American Civil Liberties Union called a recent bill unconstitutional for violating the free speech rights of students and educators. The organization filed a suit against the Oklahoma government on behalf of the American Indian Movement, the state NAACP chapter, a high school teacher, university professors, and other activist groups. The organization said the bill unfairly limits how teachers can approach racial topics by banning critical race theory, which maintains that U.S. institutions were designed to preserve white dominance. Republican sponsors called the bill “common sense” and said critical race theory wrongly teaches children to accept the blame for past problems.

What does the bill do? House Bill 1775 does not actually use the terminology “critical race theory.” It allows the state to suspend or remove any educators who teach that anyone is inherently racist or responsible for past actions based on their race or sex. The bill passed the Republican Legislature and went into effect in July. Plaintiffs said the vague language pressures teachers to remove black authors and perspectives from their curriculums. The ACLU claims the law harms black students and marginalized communities by not allowing their history to be taught in public school classrooms. 

Dig deeper: Listen to John Stonestreet discuss Christian approaches to critical race theory on The World and Everything in It podcast.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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