Proposals Would Restrict School Library Content and Limit Student Privacy at School; How You Can Weigh In

by Lindsey Francy Mar 16, 2023 News
Proposals Would Restrict School Library Content and Limit Student Privacy at School; How You Can Weigh In

New rules are being considered by the Education Department that would restrict school library content and require school staff to inform parents of major changes to a student's identity at school.

The proposals were one of the first major actions taken by the state's public education leader.

If the rules are put in place, some parents and advocates are concerned that they would harm the LGBTQ students and undermine the trust in school staff. Most of the targeted library materials center LGBTQ characters or themes, and districts have policies in place to review and reexamine them.

Public school staff, including school counselors, would have to report when a student uses a different name, pronoun or other aspects of social transition to their parents, regardless of the potential harm they face at home.

Comments can be submitted in writing to the department during the public hearings. The rules will be considered by the state Board of Education and the Legislature if they are adopted.

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It could be dangerous for a lot of vulnerable young people, whether or not they are trans, if the rule is put in place.

According to the press release, the parent's rights rule proposal is meant to reinforce the Oklahoma parents' bill of rights.

The questions of sex, morality, or religion will only be decided by Oklahoma parents. The Oklahoma Watch interview request was not responded to by the man.

Material changes regarding a child's health, social or psychological development, as well as name or pronoun changes at school, should be disclosed to the child's parent or guardian.

Email submissions can be made to At 10 a.m., the sun goes down. Comments on school library content will be heard on Friday. Comments on parents' rights will be heard on Friday. 4:30 p.m. is the deadline for writing comments. It was Friday.

There will be hearings in Oklahoma City.

At 10 a.m. there will be another hearing. Changes will be made at 2 p.m. on Monday. The temporary rules that require students to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate should be made permanent.

That goes all the way to the parents bill of rights. Similar bills have failed in the legislature. A provision that would require teachers to inform parents if they believe a student is gay or trans was added to the bill. The bill didn't make it to the floor.

The proposal seems to be moving through a different body with less scrutiny than it received at the legislature.

State agencies write administrative rules that carry the effect of law. The rulemaking process is usually uninteresting. The Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee is a volunteer group that supports policies that support public schools.

The lack of due process is one of the many concerns of the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee. There is no way for school districts that do not comply with the rules to respond to accusations.

The proposals expand beyond the department's authority.

The agency seems to have overreached in setting rules that are more like laws. That pattern is worrying me because our current Supt thinks that is his job.

Four different proposals are being considered by the department.

There would be a ban on pornographic and sexualized content in schools if the rule was put in place. A written policy for reviewing library material would also be required.

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The rule requires schools to inform parents of sex education material and affirm the parent's right to look at it. The material can be objected to by parents and schools have to honor partial objections. Sex education is compulsory in many public schools. The rule would prohibit school staff from coercing or encouraging a student to lie to their parents and require schools to tell parents about material changes that are important to their child.

Changes due to new laws include driver's education, state testing for immigrant students, and concurrent enrollee.

The emergency rules for school bathroom use are permanent. It requires schools to provide access to a single-stall restroom for those who don't want to use the shared restroom and to designate multi-person restrooms for males and females.

You can find the full text of the rules on the website.

Since 2016 she has been a reporter with OklahomaWatch. She can be reached at You can follow her on the social networking site.

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