One Oklahoma teacher officially resigned this past Wednesday in the wake of being disciplined about a sign posted in her classroom that tries to entice students to look into books that have been restricted by the state’s legal ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT).
A teacher of 10th Grade English out of Norman High School located just south of Oklahoma City, Summer Boismier was told that she must cover material that might be labeled as inappropriate under the state’s CRT ban. Many other teachers were issued the same order.
The 34-year-old Boismier went along with the order and covered the books with butcher paper, but she went a step further and put a label on the paper, wiring in bold marker over the covering “Books the State Doesn’t Want You to Read.”
She even went as far as to add a QR code that links to the “Books Unbanned” program hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library, at which the students can gain access to the banned books.
“Definitely don’t scan this!” she teased in a small quip underneath the QR code.
One spokesperson for Norman Public Schools stated that a worried parent reached out to the school district to bring these insane actions from Boismier to light and the “potential issue regarding Oklahoma HB 1775.”
“Like many educators, the teacher has concerns regarding censorship and book removal by the Oklahoma state legislature. However, as educators it is our goal to teach students to think critically, not to tell them what to think,” stated the district spokesperson.
This “Books Unbanned” project tries to give teens a way to access books that could not be easily accessed for them due to “political challenges.”
“Across the country, teens are facing book bans, censorship and political challenges in their local school and public libraries,” stated the Brooklyn library via its website.
In response, Boismier has chosen to double down on her actions, claiming she “would do it again.”
“I am a walking HB 1775 violation,” Boismier stated. “And one of the sticking points between myself and my previous district was I would do it again in a heartbeat. No regrets. Would do it again. Will do it again.”
“It’s vitally important that our students feel empowered, see themselves, reflected and validated. For too long, public education did not include those stories,” she explained.
When questioned by a local news source, KOKH-TV, about if she thought the sign about the banned books would trigger a CRT complaint, Boimier stated that it was only “a matter of when.”
“I think every educator since the passage of HB 1775 has understood that it’s a matter of ‘if,’ not a matter of ‘when.’” explained Boismier. “If we’re doing our jobs, it’s a matter of when.”
“I don’t have control over people’s feelings, so I’m not sure why I’m being penalized for that, she stated.