When Oklahoma lawmakers voted to outlaw the teaching of racial superiority and other concepts broadly associated with critical race theory through the passage of the 1775 House Bill, opponents argued that such instruction was not happening in state classrooms.
But some teachers, including a self-proclaimed radical, indirectly indicate that these concepts have been systematically integrated into classroom teaching by saying that the law now hinders their work.
One of the authors of the bill sees it as a sign of success.
“The law absolutely does what it’s supposed to do,” said State Senator David Bullard, a Durant Republican and former public school teacher who authored HB 1775. bad school systems which have obviously been a long time teaching, but I deny it.
House Bill 1775, which was signed into law in 2021, made it illegal to teach Oklahoma students that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex”, that “an individual , by virtue of race or gender, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, consciously or unconsciously,” and other concepts widely associated with critical race theory.
Some teachers have since claimed out loud that the law is handcuffing them.
In a video recently released by Project Veritas, a nonprofit journalism venture, Tyler Wrynn, identified as a teacher at Will Rogers Middle School in Tulsa, complained that HB 1775 is “a problem.”
“I can have my license revoked for this, for being too awake,” Wrynn said.
When the Project Veritas interviewer states that there are ways to “introduce these ideas without spreading them,” Wrynn replies, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
In the video, Wrynn states that he wants to “burn down the whole system” and separately describes himself as an anarchist. In one clip, he also denounces religion saying, “Eventually you want to take Christianity or religion out of progressive thinking. Because, like, religion is inherently hierarchical.
Notably, Wrynn publicly opposed HB 1775 in comments submitted to the Oklahoma State Department of Education during the rulemaking process for the new law.
“I’m a teacher in Oklahoma. With the passage of HB 1775, I (are) concerned that my colleagues and I will be unfairly targeted by vindictive parents,” Wrynn wrote. “The proposed rules are vague and written in such a way that the actions described are subject to interpretation. Teachers will face unwarranted scrutiny and pressure to change their curricula in ways that do not benefit students. Please trust teachers to teach without injecting discriminatory principles into their lessons. Moreover, there is no evidence that educators taught students that they should feel discomfort or guilt. If this bill passes, it will force Oklahoma’s top teachers to quit.
Wrynn gained national exposure in April when the “Libs of TikTok” twitter account shared one of Wrynn’s TikTok videos. In the video, Wrynn said, “If your parents don’t accept you for who you are, fuck them. I am your parents now.
Wrynn was allowed to resign by Owasso Schools following parental objections.
A review of his online activity showed that Wrynn demonized parents and bragged about countering their influence.
On a blog site operated by Wrynn, “The Inkwell’s Heart”, he wrote on January 4, 2021, that he spends “a considerable amount of my time rooting out and deconstructing the harmful stereotypes and misconceptions my students hold. regarding various groups of objectified and marginalized folx. It’s not their fault, and I don’t blame them for bringing their vitriol into my class. Most of them are just stupid kids, and a big some of their hatred is learned from even dumber adults.
Wrynn’s TikTok videos also attacked other authority figures, including the police, saying, “Laws are threats made by the dominant socio-economic ethnic group in a given nation. It’s just the promise of violence being implemented, and the police are essentially an army of occupation.
On Wrynn’s TikTok site, he described himself as a “radical teacher” and videos he posted included attacks on white people and capitalism and an apparent endorsement of violence.
Wrynn is not the only Oklahoma educator to claim that HB 1775 interferes with his teaching.
Norman High School English teacher Summer Boismier quit her job this year after controversy over her efforts to direct students to books that have been condemned as pornographic. Boismier later indicated that she left her post at Norman because she would not comply with HB 1775.
In an interview with Fox affiliate KOKH, Boismier called HB 1775 “an impossible law to follow.”
“I’m a walking violation of HB 1775,” Boismier told KOKH.
In the Mustang District, a parent filed a complaint after students were subjected to a “Privilege Walk” exercise based on the “White Privilege” concept. During the exercise, students were asked to come forward if they thought they fit various descriptions, such as: “Can you walk into a store without anyone thinking you are about to to fly ? and “When you walk alone at night, do you have to worry about someone feeling threatened by you?”
The exercise video showed a student asking, “Why are all these questions about the white race?”
After Mustang was disciplined for violating HB 1775, Mustang High School principal Kathy Knowles told members of the State Board of Education that many teachers in the Mustang district “are concerned about the curriculum they are teaching.” in light of HB 1775, including individuals teaching courses such as pre-calculus, consumer science, or anatomy.
A concept discussed by HB 1775 states that teachers cannot teach that “every individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of his race or sex” .
Bullard said critics of HB 1775 have misinterpreted this provision by saying it means students cannot feel bad about injustices that have happened in the past, when the law instead prohibits teaching children that they should feel guilty based on the color of their skin or their sex. Critics then falsely claim that HB 1775 makes teaching impossible, he noted.
“This section says you can’t shame a child because of their gender or race,” Bullard said. “That should tell us a lot that they think to teach history they have to shame a child because of their race or gender. That’s what we’re trying to call it. To teach history , you have to teach the true story, but you don’t have to shame a child because of their race or gender.
As a lifelong teacher, Bullard said it was easy to instruct students on any subject, including history, without adopting the concepts prohibited by HB 1775. Teachers who refuse to teaching without using these concepts harms what he considers a noble profession.
“Being a teacher is the greatest thing ever. I loved it,” Bullard said. “But liberals like what we’re seeing are absolutely ruining the greatest career in human history. From my perspective, I am very grateful to see that there are teachers leaving the profession who want to teach these concepts set out in (House Bill) 1775.”