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Oklahoma’s education secretary Ryan Walters told Fox News Digital about a potential plan to revoke teaching certificates in cases where educators are found pushing “sick material” in public school classrooms.
“Ultimately, if you’re trying to push ideology on our kids, there’s no place for you to be a teacher,” Walters told Fox News Digital. “Being a teacher is about focusing on academics and equipping students with the skills so that they can be successful in life, not indoctrinating them to a woke ideology.”
“What I think that we’re going to continue to pursue is—not only have we done that with critical race theory—we need to do that with this overtly sexual material and say, ‘Listen, if you’re going to do that in the state, you’re not going to be a teacher. We’re going to pull your teaching certificate, and you’re going to find another job.'”
Walters also said he did not see a purpose in the U.S. Department of Education and blasted teachers’ unions for claiming the push to get pornography out of schools was akin to “book banning.”
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The president of the American Federation of Teachers said during her keynote speech at the July 2022 conference that “Extremist politicians are trying to drive a wedge between parents and teachers by banning books, censoring curriculum and politicizing public education.”
“It’s absurd. So the position of a national teachers’ union is we want to put pornography in front of young kids, because if we don’t put pornography in front of first- and second-graders, that’s censorship. That’s outrageous,” Walters said. “This is what [the left] always do. They try to make conservatives back away from it from a commonsense position. Here’s the reality: we need age appropriate material for our kids.”
Walters took notice of books such as Gender Queer and Flamer, which were found in a Tulsa Public Schools library. These books, which contain explicit imagery, have appeared in public schools around the country.
“They want to force overtly sexual material to kids at the youngest ages in order to have them be more open to a more woke ideology. It’s ridiculous. It is sick,” he said. “We have to absolutely push back on these far leftists injecting this sick material into our schools.”
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“Flamer” is a graphic novel that contains sexually-charged topics and imagery. The characters discuss erections, penis size and the illustrations depict naked teenage boys.
“Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe depicts sexual acts and contains discussions on masturbation.
“When we were made aware of the two books with inappropriate images, we immediately asked the secondary schools that had them to remove them from their libraries,” the Tulsa school district’s spokesperson said Thursday.
“When you teach kids they’re automatically sexual beings from the youngest of ages… you’re setting kids on a course for disaster, and we absolutely have to ensure this isn’t going on in our schools,” Walters said.
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The education secretary said that the left, including the Biden administration, is trying to keep parents in the dark about the progressive agenda in schools.
“The reality is we need to provide transparency so parents can see and know what’s going on,” he said. “And that’s the other thing that I’ve seen from the far left; if you keep parents in the dark, they can’t be as involved. They can’t hold you accountable because they don’t even know.”
He continued, “So that’s been a tactic of the Biden administration. You know, that’s why they targeted parents at the school board meetings. They knew that the further away you keep parents from seeing what’s going on in the schools, the more power bureaucrats have.”
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“Luckily in Oklahoma, we’re a conservative state,” he continued. “A lot of our teachers reach out to me and say, ‘I came here to teach math. I didn’t come here to talk about sexuality with third graders. I didn’t come here to talk about what gender they identify with in second grade.”
“So I am very thankful that we’ve got some good conservative teachers in the state that reach out and alert me to these things and alert us to what some of these administrators are pushing,” he added.