The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted this week to downgrade the accreditation of Tulsa Public Schools after a teacher reportedly complained that the school district’s training materials “shame white people.”
The board voted 4-2 to lower the status of Tulsa Public Schools to “accredited with warning” on Thursday after the State Department of Education determined an implicit bias training for teachers in August 2021 violated House Bill 1775. The law, which restricts discussions of race and sex in public schools, is widely seen as targeting critical race theory. The state investigation began after a complaint from a teacher who has not been publicly identified, according to the Oklahoman.
The board also demoted another district, Mustang Public Schools near Oklahoma City, to “accredited with warning” after it self-reported that a teacher had violated House Bill 1775 by using an exercise that made students uncomfortable on account of their race or sex.
The demotions mark the first enforcement action under the law, which Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed in May 2021, the Oklahoman reported. All four members who voted to downgrade the districts were appointed by Stitt.
Tulsa’s training informed teachers that they must be “aware of our own inherent biases, as well as historical biases against minorities,” the Oklahoman reported. In response, a teacher filed a complaint with the state alleging that the training materials “specifically shame white people for past offenses in history, and state that all are implicitly racially biased by nature,” according to Public Radio Tulsa.
The outlet identified the teacher who filed the complaint as Amy Cook, who was investigated earlier this year for allegedly proselytizing in class and briefly ran for the state Senate. On her campaign website, she wrote that as a Tulsa Public Schools teacher, she has witnessed “spiritually damaging programs, liberal brainwashing, and political indoctrination being slipped into our schools.”