Oklahoma Education Board Disciplines School Districts for Allegedly Teaching Critical Race Theory

The Oklahoma State Board of Education disciplined both Tulsa Public Schools and Mustang Public Schools last week for reportedly violating a law preventing Critical Race Theory from being taught in public schools.

The state board determined at a meeting on Thursday that the two school districts violated HB 1775, which broadly prohibits race- or sex-based discrimination.

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Georgia Among the 20 States Freed from Federal Transgender Sports, Bathroom Guidance

A federal judge in Tennessee ruled in favor of Tennessee, Georgia, and 18 other states in their effort to block federal guidelines on transgender athletes and school locker rooms.

The lawsuit, brought by Tennessee, challenged guidance from the United States Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would allow athletes who were marked as males on their birth certificates to compete in girls and women’s sports. The federal guidance also would have prohibited student shower and locker room access from being determined by birth gender and provided guidance on required pronoun use.

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SCOTUS Returns Oklahoma’s Right to Prosecute Crimes on Native American Land

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of Oklahoma Wednesday in a case that weighed whether a state can prosecute crimes committed by non-Native Americans against Native Americans on reservation land.

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta involved a non-Native American defendant Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta, who admitted to “severely” under nourishing his 5 year-old stepdaughter, a Cherokee citizen. The state charged Castro-Huerta and his wife for child neglect. Castro-Huerta’s sentence was 35 years in prison with a possibility of parole.

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill into law Wednesday that bans nearly all abortions in the state and allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” a woman seeking an abortion.

According to HB4327, abortions are prohibited in Oklahoma unless it is “necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency,” or the pregnancy “is the result of rape, sexual assault, or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.”

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Requiring Students to Use Restrooms Corresponding to Sex on Birth Certificate

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires students to use school restrooms that correspond to their sex as indicated on their birth certificates.

Stitt signed the bill after the state Senate and House approved it, 38-7 and 69-14, respectively.

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Banning Nonbinary Gender Markers on Birth Certificates

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill into law Tuesday that ensures only “male” and “female” gender options are offered on birth certificates issued in the state.

According to Fox 13 News, Oklahoma is the first state to write a ban on nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates into law.

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University Hosts ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ for 2-Year-Olds

Oklahoma State University hosted “Drag Queen Story Hour” geared towards small children as young as two years old, just days after hosting its annual Dragonfly Drag Show.

As part of the school’s Pride 2022 campaign, two local drag queens read books “highlighting inclusion and acceptance” to the children and led “come-and-go craft” activities.

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States Take a Stand on Value of Human Life: Oklahoma Protects Unborn Babies from Abortion, Colorado Dismisses Their Humanity

In just the span of about a week, legislation concerning ending the lives of unborn babies in two states starkly reveals that while many state lawmakers are standing up to protect human life, some appear to be underscoring the extremity with which they are prepared to go to dismiss it.

The states continue to take their respective stands in advance of the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, now awaiting a decision at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is considered to present the most significant challenge to the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

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GOP Lawmaker Claims School Officials in His State Found a Loophole in the Ban on CRT

A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma is sounding the alarm on what he says is just the “wicked woke stepsister of” Critical Race Theory.

Oklahoma state Senator Shane Jett has proposed legislation to prohibit the teaching of so-called Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in K-12 public schools. The Oklahoma State Department of Education (DOE) is using the seemingly nice sounding name “Social and Emotional Learning” to implement the curriculum as a loophole in a state law that restricts teaching concepts like CRT, according to Jett.

Jett believes his bill, if passed, would shut that loophole and keep SEL out of public schools.

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Oklahoma Moves to Ban Nearly All Abortions

The Oklahoma legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions statewide in nearly every case.

The Oklahoma House voted 70 to 14 Tuesday to pass the bill, which bans nearly all abortions except in the case of a medical emergency threatening the life of the mother. The bill punishes abortionists with fines up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in prison, though it does not authorize the prosecution of mothers for the abortions of their unborn children.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Three More States Consider Bills Banning Men from Women’s Sports

Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma are the latest states considering bans on biological males participating in girls’ and women’s sports, with all three states passing legislation Thursday addressing the issue.

The Arizona legislature passed two bills addressing transgender issues that currently await Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature. If enacted, one bill will ban biological males from girls’ sports teams while the other will ban gender reassignment surgeries for minors.

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Oklahoma House Overwhelmingly Passes Ban on Nearly All Abortions

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban almost all abortions in the state, a bill that would be even more restrictive than Texas’s six-week ban.

Axios reports that the Oklahoma House passed HB 4327 by a margin of 78-19. The bill would ban any and all abortions, with the sole exception of abortions that must be carried out in order to save the life of the mother. The bill would also provide incentives for private citizens to sue anyone who is suspected of providing abortions or helping people get abortions, with rewards of up to $10,000 for each abortion that a suspect has performed.

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Oklahoma’s Inhofe Leaving U.S. Senate

U.S Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is stepping down from his Senate seat.

The senator said in a letter to Oklahoma Secretary of State Brian Bingman he and his wife, Kay, felt like it was time to “stand aside and support the next generation of Oklahoma leaders.”

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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Oklahoma Proposes Bill That Would Allow Parents to Remove Sexually Graphic Books from School Libraries

An Oklahoma bill introduced on Dec. 16 may allow parents to seek the removal of books that they deem inappropriate from school libraries.

The bill, Senate Bill 1142, would give parents a right to ask for the removal of “books that are of a sexual nature that a reasonable parent or legal guardian would want to know of or approve of prior to their child being exposed to it,” according to the bill’s language.

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As Gas Costs Soared in 2021, Prices Remained Among Lowest in Oklahoma, Texas

While gas prices have soared nationwide this year, average prices at the pump have remained among the lowest in Oklahoma and Texas, in part because they are significant oil and gas hubs for the nation.

The lowest current average regular gas prices per gallon are $2.822 in Oklahoma and $2.825 in Texas. Oklahomans have had the lowest prices nationwide throughout the surge of gas prices this fall, AAA reports. In the spring, Oklahoma’s average gas prices were the sixth-lowest in the nation.

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Federal Judge Upholds Vaccine Mandate for Oklahoma National Guard

On Tuesday, a district court judge ruled against the state of Oklahoma in its effort to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for members of the state’s National Guard, The Hill reports.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot explained his reasoning in a 29-page ruling, in which he rejected a motion filed by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.) to indefinitely block the mandate; Judge Friot claimed that the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit.”

“The court is required to decide this case on the basis of federal law, not common sense,” said Friot in his ruling. “But, either way, the result would be the same. The claims asserted by the Governor and his co-plaintiffs are without merit.”

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American Civil Liberties Union Sues Oklahoma over Statewide Ban on Critical Race Theory in Schools

The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma over a recently-signed law that forbids the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, according to CNN.

The lawsuit represents a group of teachers and students who support CRT, and is supported by the ACLU, the Oklahoma NAACP, the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The suit claims that the law infringes on the rights of freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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21 States Sue Biden Admin for Revoking Keystone XL Permit

A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Oklahoma Passes Bill to Grant Immunity to Drivers Who Hit Rioters Engaging in Violence

The Oklahoma House passed a bill Wednesday that extends punishments for rioters and grants immunity to drivers who injure or kill someone while fleeing a riot, USA Today reported.

House Bill 1674, introduced by Republican state Rep. Kevin West, would allow prosecutors to charge rioters with a misdemeanor for interfering with traffic and endangering drivers. If passed, motor vehicle operators would not face criminal or civil charges for hitting a rioter if they were fleeing for safety or exercised “due care” at the time of the injury or death.

The bill defines a rioter as anyone committing violence or robbery during the protest, according to the Courthouse News Service. Rioters can face a criminal charge and imprisonment.

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Commentary: Remembering Senator Tom Coburn – He Stood Tall for Taxpayers

Former Sen. Tom Coburn was a hero among fiscal conservatives and endless source of inspiration and courage. The Oklahoma Republican embodied financial stewardship, always showing great respect for the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans.

Coburn, who died late Friday at 72, helped the American people better understand the size and scope of Washington’s spending problem by highlighting government waste.

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