Woke Goes the Classroom

Tulsa Public Schools recently offered the latest example of a dangerous trend spreading throughout the country. Superintendents who view themselves as social justice warriors push their schools toward indoctrination and away from academics. TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist has overseen one of the lowest-performing school districts in the state. Eighty-nine percent of TPS students are not proficient in a single grade level or subject). She proudly kept her schools closed for just shy of a calendar year because of her blind allegiance to Dr. Anthony Fauci, and now hers has become the first district in the state to violate Oklahoma’s critical race theory ban. 

When three board members called for a forensic audit of the district, and one expressed her desire for the focus to be on academics rather than indoctrination, Gist lashed out, calling the trustee “bigoted.” All of these actions are connected. Gist is an example of a woman who embodies the leftist ethos that is holding schools across the country hostage. Her agenda and actions are dangerous to the development of children and, therefore, the future of the country. 

In the past few years, we have seen the radical Left’s endgame playing out. They have turned our schools into woke indoctrination factories, where our kids are incentivized to hate our country.

Simultaneously, leftist teachers and administrators push for a radical sexualization of students in the earliest grades. President Trump recognized this and took strong action against it by highlighting this anti-American curriculum and putting forth an accurate version of American history with the 1776 Commission Report. Now under Joe Biden, we have seen that version demoted all while the propaganda on the Left has accelerated in schoolrooms across the country. 

Critical race theory has been injected into classrooms. Men, full of testosterone, destroy women’s sports. The safety and privacy of girls are also being endangered as sexually confused male adolescents enter their bathrooms. Parents concerned about all of these societal changes are tarred as would-be “domestic terrorists” by the Justice Department. As a history teacher, it is clear to me that this is being done not to educate our children but rather to alter their perception of reality, undermine parents and instill values and morals that promote a perverse ideology.

That’s not teaching.

The Constitution is mocked. The pillars of our society are dismissed as antiquated, and our kids are told to enlighten themselves by rejecting timeless values and ultimately rejecting reality. Truth is rejected while the emotions and whims of the time are held as truth.

Leftist academics want parents and grandparents to surrender their children to the state. Woke superintendents, administrators, and teachers believe they are obligated to impose their values and undermine your children’s sexuality. They play on social guilt and claim victimhood to break down the bedrock of society. If they manipulate our kids in the classroom, then Biden’s liberal extremism will collapse the greatest country in all of mankind—all for the sake of going woke.

Here’s what is at stake: If our kids are taught to hate this country, we will no longer be the great country that God has so richly blessed. We will turn into a country whose population has rejected truth for transgender madness and self-hate that’s grown so strong there will be no semblance of our founding principles. 

The future of America and Western Civilization hinges on whether we get this right. We must continue to teach about America’s greatness. We must teach America’s exceptionalism because of its embrace of Christianity. We must reject anti-truth and anti-American wokeism. Parents must be empowered and should be put back in the driver’s seat of education with more options and more transparency. The Left believes the government knows better than parents. In Oklahoma, we will ensure our kids know and are able to carry on American values. 

There is no doubt there is a war for our kids’ minds. If we want America to continue to be the greatest country in the history of the world, we must win this war.

About Ryan Walters

Ryan Walters taught eight years as a high school history teacher in his hometown at McAlester High School. Walters serves today as Secretary of Public Education for the State of Oklahoma, and was named Secretary of Public Education by Governor Kevin Stitt in September of 2020. Walters also serves as Executive Director of Every Kid Counts Oklahoma (EKCO) and simultaneously taught  AP U.S. History at Millwood High School and McAlester High School. He is a lifelong advocate of improving Oklahoma’s education system and helping every student reach their full potential. 

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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