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Oklahoma bill would allow teachers to be sued $10k for teaching anything that contradicts students' religious beliefs

Senate Bill (SB) 1470 was proposed by Senator Rob Standridge and is dubbed the "Students' Religious Belief Protection Act."

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Republican Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed legislation that would allow teachers to be sued if they promote contradicting religious beliefs held by a student.

Senate Bill (SB) 1470 was proposed by Senator Rob Standridge and is dubbed the "Students' Religious Belief Protection Act." 

"No public school of this state, as defined pursuant to Section 1-106 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall employ or contract with a person that promotes positions in the classroom or at any function of the public school that is in opposition to closely held religious beliefs of students," Standridge's proposal reads. 

Credit: Oklahoma Senate
Oklahoma Senator Rob Standridge

Under the proposed act, teachers can be sued for $10,000 "per incident, per individual" for teaching lessons or promoting material perceived as anti-religious or in opposition to a student's religious beliefs. 

In its current state, the bill outlines that if sued by a student's parent, guardian, or parent's friend, the teacher can get no help paying the $10k fine. 

The bill does not state which students' religious beliefs will be protected under the law. 

Lawmakers will hear the act during the first day of the Oklahoma Legislative Session that begins Monday, Feb. 7. 

The bill comes during a push by conservative-leaning organizations to restrict what's being taught in classrooms. National discussions have sparked at how racism, sexuality, and political views should be taught in schools. 

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