OKLAHOMA CITY – In the wake of Senator Standridge’s Interim Study on October 18, looking at DEI practices in our universities and colleges, Standridge has filed four pieces of legislation to adopt laws that will stop this discriminatory process. At the study, Standridge (R-Norman) hosted guests from the Heritage Foundation, Goldwater Institute, and OCPA, along with other experts that showed how DEI is destroying our institutions of higher learning and harming many college students and faculty along the way.

According to Sen. Standridge, DEI should be called by its more appropriate name, Discriminate, Exclude and Indoctrinate.

“Our universities and colleges will continue to devolve as we veer further away from merit-based accomplishments and continue to follow the leftist ideology of DEI to its ultimate negative end. In our colleges and universities, we should begin to follow the words of one of the greatest civil rights heroes in history, Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said “I have a dream…[people should not be judged] by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, and we can add gender, pronouns, and every other leftist idea of dividing our nation into classes, to this ideal,” Standridge said.

The four bills Standridge filed Wednesday aimed at eliminating DEI practices in Oklahoma higher education institutions are Senate Bills 1303, 1304, 1305, and 1306. These pieces of legislation prohibit the establishment of a DEI office or hiring or assigning of employees to carry out DEI practices, among other safeguards to ensure students and faculty are not exposed to such concepts. It also states that if the State Auditor and Inspector determines an institution has spent funds in violation of the legislation, it must cure the violation within 180 days, and if it does not, the institution will be ineligible to receive funding allocation increases from the State Regents for the next fiscal year.

Additionally, Standridge’s pieces of legislation would create the Oklahoma Workforce Education Revolving Fund for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; direct each institution to establish curricula and designate courses in a manner that does not require or constrain students to enroll in a diversity, equity, inclusion, and critical race theory (DEI-CRT) related education, major, minor, or certificate requirements; and prohibits institutions within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year from requiring enrolled students to enroll in a course that is not a core requirement of their chosen curriculum, a course for which there is no tuition or fee charged comparable to similar courses, or a course that is not directly relevant to the degree being pursued and that the student or financially responsible person objects to on philosophical or religious reasons.

“It is time for our state to kick out of our colleges and universities those that would discriminate and harm young and old students, and faculty and would use these citizens for their leftist, racist experiments. If an employee of our universities or colleges would discriminate against or favor one student or faculty member over another based-on race, gender, pronouns, religion, or other reason apart from merit, they should be terminated immediately and replaced with someone that understands the protections against this our US Constitution gives each and every citizen. DEI must end in our state, and end NOW,” Standridge added.

-END-For more information, contact:  Sen. Standridge: (405) 521-5535 or Rob.Standridge@oksenate.gov

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