*A teacher in Oklahoma is disappointed with Gov. Kevin Stitt after one of her summer classes was canceled due to the state’s House Bill 1775, which bans educators from teaching certain concepts of race and racism.
Melissa Smith told KOCO 5 that she’s taught classes on race for six years, but House Bill 1775 has caused her to lose a class she was supposed to teach this summer at Oklahoma City Community College. The recently signed legislation restricts what can be taught about racial divisions through history in Oklahoma classrooms.
“I’m not happy. This is information everyone needs to know,” Smith said. “I’ve actually been teaching race and ethnicities in the United States for multiple years. I got an email a week or so ago, saying due to this new law, they were canceling my completely full race and ethnicities class.
Her students won’t be able to take her class even though it was required for some to graduate. Also, Smith won’t be getting a paycheck.
“This was a huge chunk of my income,” she said. “It’s interesting that these adults, who are paying for their own education, can’t take the classes that they want to attend,” she said.
When Stitt signed the bill, he said, “We can and should teach the history without labeling a young child as an oppressor or requiring he or she feel guilt or shame based on their race or sex. I refused to tolerate otherwise.”
Oklahoma City Community College officials said they are looking into the law to see if the class could still be offered in the future.