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Teacher Resigns Over Oklahoma Law Censoring LGBTQ+, Other Books

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(CNN) -- An Oklahoma teacher says she has resigned from her position as an English teacher with Norman Public Schools following controversy over the display of, and student access to, more than 500 books in her classroom library.Summer Boismier, who was an English teacher at Norman High School, told CNN that before the start of the school year, English teachers in the district were asked to review the books in their classroom libraries to see which might elicit challenges,” in relation to an Oklahoma law that restricts teaching about race and gender.Teachers, including herself, often personally fill and fund classroom libraries, which she called an “absolutely vital” resource, she said.“I pay for those books.

I put books on my shelves that I think not only would be appealing to students, but center stories that have traditionally been left out of official ELA [English Language Arts] curriculum,” Boismier said Wednesday.Oklahoma’s HB 1775 is intended to stop discrimination, according to the bill.

If any educator makes part of their curriculum teachings that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex” or that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” they could be suspended or have their license removed, the law states.According to Boismier, teachers were asked to either box up the books they felt could be at issue, turn them around so that the spines faced inward and the title of the text could not be seen, or cover them up, with butcher paper, for example.Boismier decided to cover the books, she told CNN.

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