10 things that should be taught in Oklahoma schools
9:12 AM EDT on June 21, 2018
On Wednesday, KFOR reported that Juneteenth will soon be taught in Oklahoma public schools. While many people are basically like, "it's about damn time," others are still confused. So, for those of you who learned a really white-washed version of history from Oklahoma public schools, here's what KFOR had to say:
TULSA, Okla. – A celebration that marks the end of slavery will now be taught in Oklahoma schools.
The Juneteenth holiday celebration started when General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and began spreading the news that slavery had ended.
Now, this part of history will be part of Social Studies curriculum for Oklahoma students. This year also marks the first time students were taught about the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and Black Wall Street.
“Instead of just knowing about gang violence and those types of things, we need to know about the prideful and positive things that have added to our economy,” Sen. Kevin Matthews told KJRH.
Sen. Matthews, who co-authored the bill that allows the teaching of Juneteenth, says it is important for students to learn the truth about American history, whether it is good or bad.
Shout out to Senator Matthews for publicly acknowledging that not all American history is Yankee Doodle and "support the troops!"
While I think this is a great step in the right direction for Oklahoma schools curriculum, we shouldn't rest on our laurels. So, it's with that in mind that I bring you 10 other things that should be taught in Oklahoma public schools.
1. The Confederate States of America were traitors.
Would everyone be so quick to fly the Confederate flag if they realized they were identifying themselves as a group of traitorous losers? Probably not.
2. Columbus didn't discover shit.
By now, we all know that Columbus didn't really discover America. There were already people here, and he never actually stepped on what would become the U.S. But maybe we need some more overt education. Then, maybe we could finally celebrate Indigenous People's Day instead of placating some old traditionalists who holler just for the sake of it.
3. Jesus did not ride a dinosaur.
Did you know that there are local universities who train medical professionals and also teach them that either Jesus rode a dinosaur, or that Satan put the dinosaur bones in the ground to tempt you into believing evolution? I'm not kidding about this. This actually exists. And these nurses graduate and get hired, even though their science background is absolute garbage.
4. Religious history.
Imagine how great it would be if everyone could learn about the different religions of the world, and then make a choice about which religion they follow. As it stands, most Oklahomans blindly follow their parents, have a big falling out, and then slowly find their own way via a mega church. I know we don't have this class because it would wind up humanizing Muslims and Jews, and a lot of the local faith leaders can't stand to have their authority or hold on the ignorant undermined in that way.
5. Personal finance and how a 401k works.
Look. There is absolutely no reason why this isn't a class that everyone should take. And while it may have been offered at your high school, chances are that it's not offered at all schools. I know the status quo doesn't work unless you keep it where it is, but damn. Can you imagine how well our state's economy would run if everyone learned really basic things about money?
6. How to maintain critical thinking skills when people use the right faith-based buzzwords.
Have you noticed that Oklahomans suck at voting in their own self-interest when someone grabs a microphone and starts hollering about Jesus? This class would help Oklahomans learn to keep a level head and use logic and facts when they make decisions so we don't keep getting caught in this cycle where pseudo-Christians bastardize the holy book in the name of personal financial gain and cronyism.
7. The ins and outs of local government.
Sure, some students get a local civics class, but I think you have to be in the so-called good districts to get it. I think we can all agree that instead of spending our very limited education dollars on teaching students how to take state-mandated standardized tests, we should teach them how things work in their local governments and get them excited about getting civically engaged at an early age. Though, I assume that most local politicians would absolutely hate this, because some of those jackwagons really benefit from the ignorance of citizens.
8. Sex Ed.
I know Oklahoma believes that 13-year-olds should get knocked up just like the good lord intended, but imagine if education professionals didn't have to take the same stance on sex ed. as religious leaders. Not only would this empower young people to take control of their sexual health and their futures, but it would also enable a large percentage of Oklahomans to achieve a higher financial standing since they wouldn't have to drop out of middle school to raise kids.
9. Economics and large budget management.
If everyone had a basic grasp of how economies and budgets work, would we continuously support politicians who waste state money on frivolous legislation that will be shot down by the state supreme court? Would our schools be better funded? Would we believe nonsensical blowhards when they say really dumb shit about how much government waste there is or how we need to drug test welfare recipients? The more of these questions I ask, the more I see why no state politician would ever mandate this information be taught.
10. Basic nutrition.
I'm no dietitian, but I would argue the average Oklahoman couldn't tell you what a healthy food item is. If you take a look at the state meal, it's kind of obvious that Oklahoma doesn't really care about portions, or the nutrients in food. But maybe we'd be a lot healthier as a state if we learned at a younger age that potatoes aren't the only vegetables, and boxed mac and cheese is basically the root of all evil.
Marisa got really lucky and grew up in a good school district. She is the brown interloper mooching off your white property taxes that the GOP warned you about. Follow her on Twitter here.
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