Oklahoma City Community College: Class on Race in the United States ‘Paused’ After Legislation on ‘Race or Sex Stereotyping’


Oklahoma City Community College

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On May 18, 2021, Oklahoma City Community College informed Melissa Smith that the summer session of her sociology course, “Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.,” would be canceled pending a review for compliance with HB 1775, a recently adopted bill that bans teaching of certain “concepts” in K-12 institutions and limits certain “training” in colleges and universities. On June 2, FIRE wrote to the public college, explaining that the law does not reach classroom teaching in higher education and would violate faculty members’ academic freedom rights under the First Amendment if it did. Public records obtained by FIRE showed that the cancellation was precipitated by a parent’s complaint about “critical race” and a student’s complaint about a video on redlining. On June 4, the college restored the class.