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State Superintendent Ryan Walters pushes for revocation of TPS, ex-Norman teachers' licenses

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OKLAHOMA CITY — In one of his first acts as state superintendent, Ryan Walters directed state education staff to pursue revoking the teaching certificates of two educators who expressed frustrations with a law that limits instruction on race and gender.

Walters instructed the State Department of Education to take steps to revoke the teaching licenses of Tulsa Public Schools teacher Tyler Wrynn and former Norman Public Schools teacher Summer Boismier, said spokesman Matt Langston.

A Rogers Middle School English teacher, Wrynn made headlines after a national conservative group released a video in which he described himself as an anarchist and said there are ways to subtly introduce into the classroom race and gender concepts banned by House Bill 1775.

Tulsa Public Schools said the video was heavily edited and was obtained under fraudulent pretenses, and TPS noted that the conservative group that released the content is known for unethical and deceptive practices.

Boismier, a former Norman High School English teacher, resigned after controversy arose over her covering of some books in her classroom because they might have violated House Bill 1775, a law that bans educators from teaching certain concepts on race and sex. After covering the titles with a sign that said, “Books the state doesn’t want you to read,” Boismier shared a QR code for the Brooklyn Public Library, which has a digital collection of banned books.

She has since moved to New York for a job at the Brooklyn Public Library.

On the campaign trail, Walters said both teachers should be stripped of their teaching credentials. In a video posted on social media Wednesday, Walters said he is working toward that end, although he did not mention the teachers by name.

“I have instructed my staff to immediately begin the process to hold the two teachers accountable who actively violated state law, admitted to violating state law, to indoctrinate our kids,” he said. “We will not allow the indoctrination of Oklahoma students here in the state of Oklahoma.”

It was not immediately clear where the State Department of Education is in the process of trying to revoke the teaching licenses. State education rules stipulate that an educator must be given the opportunity for a hearing before the teacher’s license can be revoked.

A teaching certificate can be revoked following a willful violation of state or federal law, breach of a Board of Education or U.S. Department of Education rule, a conviction for certain crimes, or other misconduct or cause.

In addition to receiving a salary for serving as state superintendent, Walters also will be compensated for continuing to serve as secretary of education. Gov. Kevin Stitt reappointed him this week to that position, which requires Senate confirmation.

As superintendent, Walters will be paid $124,373 annually. He will be paid an additional $40,000 a year to serve as a Cabinet secretary, according to the Governor’s Office.

Featured video: Oklahoma executive branch officials taking oath of office

Jan. 9, 2023 video featuring Cindy Byrd (state auditor) Gentner Drummond (attorney general) Todd Russ (treasurer) Leslie Osborn (labor commissioner) Ryan Walters (state superintendent) Glen Mulready (insurance commisioner) Kim David (corporation commissioner). Video courtesy/OETA

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