Oklahoma’s ban on books hurts special education News | ocolly.com – Daily O’Collegian | Team Cansler

Books in Oklahoma schools can be banned, and parents are to become active.

“If we want to be the change that we want to see in our children’s lives, then as parents we have to act first,” said Danielle Johnson. mothers from a special education child. “This activity exposes your kids to different cultures, lets them watch the news with you, and just tells them the truth about the story.”

The call to parents take action with raising her students has been particularly prominent in discussions about students in special education programs or with specific learning disabilities.

This call to action is an answer to Oklahoma’s recent ban on books in public elementary and secondary schools.

On May 10, 2021, the future of education in Oklahoma changed forever when Gov. Kevin Stitt passed House Bill 1775.

“This law prohibits teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, and ultimately prohibits reading about it in public schools,” according to OSSBA.org.

While the intent of this bill, according to sde.ok.gov, was to create spaces for students to learn without racial bias, some educators fear this bill will blind students to the racial history that shaped America and ultimately create better learning will be disadvantage for students.

Santa Fe South Alternative Charter School aassistant i.eDirector, Sheila Patton, sHelp the bans will only create more challenges for students in the future.

“Many of the events and subjects discussed in these banned books are still happening today, whether people believe it or not.” patton said. “Censoring books creates the greatest disadvantage a person can have. That downside is ignorance of the real world.”

In 2016, 39,786 children were identified special learning disabilities in Oklahoma, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The children aformed the largest of 13 special educational disability categories.

The ratio of students to faculty is also eliminated.

While 16% of Oklahoma students, higher than the national average, required special education from 2016-17, the state employed only 3,450 special education teachers with little evidence of an increase in 2022corresponding The Stillwater News Press.

“Our special education teachers do a great job when their workload is what it should be,” said Blondell Ford, a Putnam City schoolteacher. “Unfortunately, we are missing three special education teachers, so their workload has doubled beyond the state-mandated quota.”

A common theme exists in the list of banned books. Touched more than half of the books the subjects from ccritical rightace tTheory and LGBTQ+ relationships.

According to census.gov, 36.5% of Oklahoma citizens were identified as minorities in 2020.

from these minorities 17% of Native American students, 16% of African American students, 13% of mixed race students and 13% of Hispanic and Pacific Islanders reported having learning disabilitiesaccording to Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services. Johnson is one of the many parents who have a child with learning disabilities at school.

“My biggest fear as a mother and educator is that my little boy and my children who look like him will go to school believing their story doesn’t Matter,” said Johnson.“Our story matters because it is the root of our strength and endurance, and that’s what scares people the most.”

Some of the most notable banned books are Harper Lee’s “Killing a mockingbirdMaya Angelou’s autobiography Why the Caged Bird SingsNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass‘ and Zora Neal Hurston’s ‘Her eyes watched Godwhich particularly shed light on the experiences of Black people the USA

“Teachers are afraid of exposing students to ideas and critical thinking, and without critical thinking you’re left with poorly trained drones that don’t understand the world around them,” said Mid-Del Superintendent Rick cobb said. “That’s the scariest thing about the book ban.”

This limitation of the literature has raised concern among the some Educators from Oklahoma. In particular, the concern of how past censorship affects that of a student ability to understand the future.

“This is my 30 year in public education and I believe our mission has not changed; That mission is to do whatever we can to ensure students are thriving and learning to the best of their ability,” said Cobb. “Censuring what happened in the past will only make the reality of the future more difficult for students to comprehend and comprehend.”

Faced with the challenge of ensuring their students learn historical events in school, educators and parents are considering how Oklahomans can help combat the book ban problem. One of those ways is to go out and vote.

“I think we need to get out, vote and do our research before we put people into office.” eEducator Riley Martin said. “We need to evaluate their values ​​and see if what they truly stand for benefits our students the most.”

cobb also stressed the importance of knowing the candidates we are electing to office.

“These candidates do not have the best interest in public education in mind,” he said cobb. “And if you don’t have the best interests of public education in mind, then you don’t have the students’ best interests in mind.”

Educators and parents also suggested tackling the problem of book censorship by having parents teach history to their children.

Although suggestions have been made as to how to combat the problem of banned books in Oklahoma, the battle is far from over.

Norman teacher, Summer Boismiermade local headlines when she was told she had to attend a disciplinary hearing after sharing a QR code with her students that linked to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned website. corresponding ok fox.com.

Though the future of education in Oklahoma may seem hazy, students can clear their way With leave their curiosity to lead them to the books they want to read.

“Because when you find the truth for yourself, no one can take it from you‘ Cobb said.

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