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Federal Judge Issues Order on HB 1775 in Oklahoma

More than 2 1/2 years after the lawsuit was filed, a federal judge in Oklahoma City on Friday issued a temporary injunction that prevents the state from enforcing a key part of House Bill 1775, which bans the teaching of certain race and gender topics in Oklahoma classrooms.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law in May 2021, and the federal lawsuit followed in October. The lawsuit, filed by the Black Emergency Response Team and other plaintiffs, alleges that the law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by suppressing speech and discriminating against minority and LGBTQ+ students.

U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin issued three orders after 4 p.m. Friday, one of which ordered defendants in the lawsuit — which included numerous state officials, including Stitt, current Attorney General Gentner Drummond, state schools Superintendent Ryan Walters, members of the Board State Education and others – from enforcing the following provision in the first paragraph of the Act: “Any orientation or requirement that presents any form of racial or gender stereotyping or bias based on race or sex is prohibited.”