Oklahoma’s top education official will propose rules on Thursday that will eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, prevent drag queen performers from becoming teachers and will protect religious liberty in schools.

Republican Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters will be proposing the new rules at Thursday’s Oklahoma Board of Education meeting. One proposed rule allows for the dismissal of teachers who have “engaged in sexual acts” in front of children, the second rule would eliminate funding for DEI programs in K-12 schools and the final proposed rule would ensure that students are allowed to participate in voluntary prayer.

“A teacher may be dismissed, refused employment, or not reemployed after a finding that such person has, either in the presence of minors or in a manner available to minors online, engaged in sexual acts, act that appeal to the prurient interest in sex as found by the average person applying contemporary community standards, or acts that excessively promote sexuality in light of the educational value of the material and in light of the youngest age of students with access to said material,” the proposed board order banning drag queens from classrooms reads.

The third proposed rule regarding prayer will be discussed at the board meeting Thursday, and will be available for public comment in January. “Superintendent Walters knows the Constitution is crystal clear on religious liberty. He will not allow viewpoint discrimination against religious people, and we have all heard reports of outside groups insisting on scrubbing classrooms of any religious expression,” a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation from Walters’ office said. “No historically sound understanding of the Establishment Clause begins to make it necessary for government to be hostile to religion in this way,” the statement continues.

Walters said Chaya Raichik’s X account Libs of TikTok, which highlights gender ideology activism in schools, inspired the proposed rule banning teachers that promote sexuality to children after her account highlighted a story about a drag queen principal in an Oklahoma school. The same school hired a second drag queen who worked for the principal as a kindergarten aide.

“Now we’ve had another employee that was arrested for a sexual act with a minor in the same building. And so, what we have said is we have got to make sure we have all the tools necessary to get individuals that have sexualized the classroom out,” Walters told the DCNF.

Brandon Poulter on December 20, 2023

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