OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma House has passed a measure to ban ‘classroom instruction’ on sexual orientation or gender identity from Pre-K to 5th grade.
Last year, Florida passed HB 1557, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in Kindergarten through 3rd grade “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
After Florida signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law, News 4 asked Oklahoma lawmakers if legislation like that was necessary for the Sooner State.
“With some of these ideas that are being pushed on young students even on our elementary schools. Yes, I think it is something that is necessary,” Sen. Nathan Dahm told KFOR. “If it’s something the parents want to have the conversation with their children about, that’s one thing. But no, government employees should not be having this conversation with these young students.”
Not everyone agreed, however.
“Well, this isn’t happening in our schools in the first place, so why are we trying to write a piece of legislation that is not happening?” said Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, a former Norman teacher. ”As a parent of a trans-boy, I can tell you right now that any of this erasure or using this fear mongering, is extremely dangerous.”
Now, a newly-passed House bill would bring a similar version of that Florida law to Oklahoma.
HB 2546 says, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity shall not occur in prekindergarten through grade five or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
The bill does not give details on how this law would be enforced or repercussions of violating it.
In a 79-19 vote Tuesday, the House passed the bill through for consideration in the Senate.
If signed into law, it would go into effect Nov. 1, 2023.