Oklahoma’s head of education hires Christian Nationalists to revise social studies curriculum

State schools Superintendent Ryan Walters speaks during an Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting at the Oliver Hodge Building in Oklahoma City, Thursday, March 28, 2024.
Oklahoma Educational Superintendent Ryan Walters Photo: BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK via IMAGN

Oklahoma State Educational Superintendent Ryan Walters has announced a new committee stocked with Christian Nationalist MAGA supporters to rewrite social studies standards in the state.  

With the far-right appointments, school-age kids across Oklahoma have been enrolled in a classroom experiment none of them signed up for.

Walters appointed Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, the far-right think tank responsible for Project 2025, to the new Executive Review committee. MAGA loyalists hope to use the group’s 1,000-page document, which calls for a national ban on abortion and for pornographers to be executed, as a blueprint for a second, dictatorial Trump presidency.

Walters also asked Dennis Prager, the onetime syndicated talk show host who now hawks Christian Nationalist-inspired right-wing talking points through his Pager U foundation, to help refashion the state’s social studies curriculum.

The appointments come just weeks after Walters ordered all school districts in the state to teach the Bible.

Earlier this year, Walters enlisted internet scowl Chaya Raichik to help police the state’s library catalog. Raichik’s Libs of TikTok account has been responsible for dozens of stochastic terrorist incidents targeting LGBTQ+ activists along with doctors and hospitals associated with gender-affirming care.

Walters was transparent about using Oklahoma school children as guinea pigs in his Christian Nationalist social experiment.

“I am very excited to have enlisted some of the brightest minds available to serve on our Executive Review Committee. Their unparalleled expertise will help craft new academic standards that will serve as a model for the nation and help Oklahoma students for years to come,” Walters said.

As well as Roberts and Prager, Walters also appointed conservative radio host Steve Deace and David Barton, a dedicated Christian Nationalist. Barton has long promoted the idea that the Founding Fathers never intended that church and state be separate, but instead sought to construct a Christian nation.

House Democrats in the state excoriated Walters for the partisan curriculum makeover.

“His Executive Review Committee is made up of extremist Republicans who are seeking to strip Oklahomans of their right to freedom of religion and a well-rounded, public education,” said House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson.

State House Rep. John Waldron (D) called the effort a “carpetbagger curriculum” and a “dangerous politicization of our academic process.”

PragerU’s “educational” videos and cartoons are already employed in at least four states.

One animation from a PragerU video features Christopher Columbus telling kids, “Being taken as a slave is better than being killed.” Another features Black abolitionist Frederick Douglas giving a pass to the Founding Fathers for not outlawing slavery, while other videos discuss how feminism harms women and question whether the “LGBTQ movement” has “gone too far.”

In one unhinged chapter of the Heritage Foundation’s radical Project 2025, the authors equate transgenderism with pornography and propose to outlaw it.

“The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered,” reads one excerpt from the think tank’s so-called “Mandate for Leadership.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

“Gay furry hackers” leak revealing data from major anti-LGBTQ+ Republican think tank

Previous article

Gay student dies under “suspicious” circumstances as police hunt for his boyfriend

Next article