Oklahoma Elects Education Secretary Who Wants to Demand Training in ‘Christian’ Version of American History – Baptist News Global

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The man elected to lead Oklahoma Public schools for the next four years believe state teachers all need remedial training at a conservative evangelical school in Michigan to teach ‘real history’ that promotes ‘Judeo-Christian values’ .

Republican candidate Ryan Walters beat Democratic candidate Jena Nelson in this week’s election, following trends making Oklahoma one of the most conservative states of all its political leaders. Walters, a former McAlester high school teacher, had been named to the top education job by Gov. Kevin Stitt after highly respected secretary Joy Hoffmeister resigned to run against Stitt in the governor’s race.

Professional educators and their related professional organizations have actively opposed Walters, but have been unable to convince the general public to act on their fears that the new secretary holds extreme views that pose a danger to public education in the world. ‘State.

His campaign website listed endorsements from several conservative political action groups and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, but only one education group, the Licensed Child Care Association.

KOCO-TV Oklahoma City News reported Earlier this fall, Walters told a crowd of GOP supporters that every teacher in Oklahoma should train at Hillsdale College, a Michigan school at the forefront of a national effort to shape public schools in the way desired by conservative evangelical parents.

“Our children need to know about the foundation. They need to know that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values.

“What we need is real history taught in schools. Our children must know the foundation. They need to know that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. They must know the Constitution. They must be inspired by heroes like George Washington,” Walters said.

During an October 25 debate with Nelson, Walters said: “We must continue to remain vigilant because the far left has decided to launch a war for the minds of our children and convince our young people that they are racists. They will inject this division into the classroom. They are going to inject this hatred of the Constitution and the values ​​on which this country was founded.

The Norman transcription reported that Walters wants to install a “God-based history curriculum” in schools across the state that will highlight the role God played in America’s founding.

“Our history is our history” and the founders believed that “our rights came from God”, according to newspapers citing Walters. “It doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t believe it’s from God. That’s what (the founders) believed, so that was their belief and their intention.

“It doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t believe it’s from God. That’s what (the founders) believed, so that was their belief and their intention.

The idea that America was founded as a “Christian nation” is a key ideology of Christian nationalism and is contested by religious liberty groups and professional historians.

Yet Walters calls his view of America “history without indoctrination.”

“It’s a very specific view of Christianity that’s not something most denominations share or most Christians really share,” said Clark Frailey, executive director of Pastors for Oklahoma Kids. “It seems like a very small minority that has this vision of taking over, but it’s being sold as if Christianity is all over the place, it’s only one thing. That’s not really true, or we wouldn’t have 35,000 denominations there.

Frailey noted a concern that Walters wants to “water down the story” and make it look like nothing bad happened, like the Trail of Tears or slavery. “It’s really scary because there have been some pretty big atrocities that we don’t need to cover.”

Christian nationalism also encompasses the idea of ​​manifest destiny, that it was God’s will that Europeans would settle in North America and dominate lands previously populated by natives.

Walters said he wants to make sure Oklahoma educators teach American history that is “empty of left-wing indoctrination” and doesn’t teach “our children to hate our country.”

In his victory speech at a GOP election watch party, Walters said, “We believe we need to reject Joe Biden’s radical agenda right here in the state of Oklahoma. The message has been sent loud and clear: In Oklahoma, we are doing more than any other state in the country to empower parents. … People, Oklahoma is not going to wake up.

“People, Oklahoma is not going to wake up.”

Walters is a supporter of taxpayer-funded school vouchers that would allow parents to use public funds for private or home schooling options for their children.

Walters holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harding University, an Arkansas school affiliated with the Churches of Christ.

In an interview with the daily oklahomanWalters said he realizes his views may be considered controversial by many in Oklahoma, but he has a higher goal in mind: What will history say about him?

“I think it’s important to stand up for the things that are right, and I think over time history will judge people and their decision-making and the general public will too,” Walters said. . “I’ve always been inspired by people like (Lincoln), Winston Churchill, George Washington who had to make decisions at times that again didn’t get 100% consensus, but what you you’re going to do is you’re going to try to do the right thing, you’re going to build a coalition and try to do the right thing.

So far, this coalition has not include Oklahoma teachers.

write for Free press OKCGeorge Lang warned: “An authoritarian theocracy is upon us in Oklahoma.

And in an opinion piece published by the OklahomaEducation professor Dan Vincent warned that Walters was campaigning on a red herring.

“It’s time for our state’s elected leaders to address the real issues in education. “Woke teachers” are mythical figures created to instill fear in residents and capture votes; they are not the problem. Let’s mobilize around the real needs of educators and children in our state. Let us work collectively to bring respect to the profession; find ways to better compensate teachers; explore ways to address the teacher shortage. In short, let’s put an end to the myth of “revived schools” in Oklahoma and work together to solve the real problems in education. »

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