Oklahoma Bill Could See Teachers Fined $10K and Lose Job for Teaching Anything Contradicting Religion

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A new bill has been introduced in Oklahoma that would allow teachers to be sued for $10,000 if they offer a different view from the religious beliefs held by the students, according to a published news report.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Rob Standridge initiated the proposed act, named “Students Religious Beliefs Protection Act,” SB 1470, that is set to be officially introduced into the Education Committee this week, 5News reported. 

Under the proposed act, parents will have the right to raise issue with anything that is perceived to have anti-religious content, including subject matter addressing LGBTQ+ issues, birth control, evolution and the big bang theory, according to The Independent.

Teachers that violate the bill may face a fine of up to $10,000, “per incident, per individual,” and risk losing their job, the news outlet reported. 

“No public school of this state, as defined pursuant to Section 1-106 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall employ or contract with a person that promotes positions in the classroom or at any function of the public school that is in opposition to closely held religious beliefs of students,” Standridge’s proposal reads, 5News reported.

The bill does not state which students’ religious beliefs will be protected under the law, a report said. 

In December, Standridge introduced a bill to ban books with references to identity, sex and gender from public school libraries. Texas State Representative Matt Krause recently put more than 800 books on a watch list. Some of the books covered topics like race issues and LGBTQ+ issues, the Independent reported.