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The following is a rush transcript of an interview between Todd Starnes and Oklahoma State Senator Rob Standridge.
TODD: Norman, Oklahoma, parents very upset with a lot of books and social media posts coming out of the high school library. That’s Norman North High School. The controversy attracting the attention of some state lawmakers, including State Senator Rob Standridge, who is on the Liberty University newsmaker line. Senator, welcome to the program.
STANDRIDGE: [01:22:24] Thank you. Great to be here and enjoy your show.
TODD: [01:22:28] Well, thank you. And, Senator, let’s just get right to this. What were moms and dads concerned about?
STANDRIDGE: [01:22:35] Well, it kind of started with the we had some critical race theory stuff is still going on, but started getting attention last year and I started reaching out to some parents and parents reaching out to me. And in that whole process, they started bringing my attention to the to these books. One parent, you know, called me and told me they canceled Romeo and Juliet for their, you know, for their students because it wasn’t diverse enough. So that’s more on the diversity side. But this whole thing fits together where they’re in my opinion, based on everything I’m getting, they’re putting more attention on indoctrination than education, even here in the reddest state in the country.
TODD: [01:23:17] I was about to say, I mean, every single county in Oklahoma went for Trump, I think, in both presidential elections. So it really is the reddest of red states.
STANDRIDGE: [01:23:27] Yeah, it’s very disturbing because when you look, you know, I’m a person of faith and I think most people in our community are and, you know, we understand that the Bible and faith based things have been jerked off the shelves of our schools. The schools can’t lead prayer. They can’t use taxpayer dollars to promote faith or Christianity or any other religion. But in essence, in my opinion, what they’re doing here is promoting the opposite of the religion. So it’s indoctrination itself by another name. So whether it’s the Art of Drag or BLM or I’ve sent you some images or trained all the transgender books that they’re promoting. So the only things the kids saw were these promotional set-ups.
TODD: [01:24:17] Yeah, these are looking at some of the books here. Art of Drag, Trans Teen Survival Guide, a book called Concrete Rose, not familiar with that one hand and books that focused on black voices. And so you’re I mean, I’m curious. And all of this all of this inclusion, did they did they include the Bible?
STANDRIDGE: [01:24:41] No, no, no, that would be unconstitutional for them to do that, according to them. And so, you know, was really interesting to me. I kind of call this in the darkness right in front of you, for instance. And so I personally went, we have a local bookstore. Of course, I went there and I went to the local public library and I walked intentionally through all of the teen sections in both of those places. And you there are none of these books being displayed there. In fact, in all of my search, I found only one common title, and that was one of the Sequoia books for only about a young gay black child, which they promote incessantly at the library called Black Flamingo. But that book was just hidden among the shelves with all the other books. Other than that, not one single one of these could I find, and certainly none of them were showcased and displayed pushing towards, because if they were, parents wouldn’t walk their kids to Barnes and Noble, they wouldn’t want their kids to the public library. Grandparents would be complaining to the library saying, what are you trying to push on our kids? But instead, they put it in the local public school library where they know no parents go.
TODD: [01:25:48] Senator, I’m curious, have you had a chance? Yes, it is. Have you had a chance to to speak with any of school leaders to find out what the heck is going on here?
STANDRIDGE: [01:25:58] Oh, yeah, I called multiple school board members and they said, oh, yeah, the library, we know what you’re talking about. I said, Well, when are you going to do something about it? Well, you know, that’s just you know, that’s just the library. And I’m like, you know, and I don’t understand that. And so I think the courts should do something about it. I think since I’ve been encouraging parents to I think he’s crossed the lines. I don’t know if he saw the recent article by Attorney General Barr, former attorney general, had a great piece on the fact that pushing this type of stuff on kids is unconstitutional. So it’s essentially be the same type of thing as forcing them to read the Bible every day.
TODD: [01:26:41] But did you did you ask about the Bible and what did they tell you?
STANDRIDGE: [01:26:46] Yeah, I haven’t really gotten a decent response from the school itself, other than they put out a very Blinkx statement about how they’re being inclusive. And my response was, well, in the effort to include a handful of kids, you’re excluding a lot of children. And so this this whole idea of inclusiveness, whether it’s BLM or whatever, because but yeah, their response is pretty bland and pretty pretty generic what you would expect. In fact, I asked him some very serious questions about, you know, Black Lives Matter and critical race theory that they’re pushing. And they’re always the response is inclusive. And I feel like asking, where’s the white lives matter, the Hispanic lives matter, the you know, the Asian lives matter. I mean, if we’re going to be inclusive, your list of inclusive groups will never stop.
TODD: [01:27:35] I don’t think those lives matter, to be honest with you, Senator.
STANDRIDGE: [01:27:38] I don’t I wonder. And they’re really you know, I know that the child that spoke to me about the Romeo and Juliet, I mean, I could tell that her and her parents were bothered by that. I mean that it’s why, you know, if they had given no reason, maybe that would have been all right. But still, the children that that one’s being canceled. The most famous play in all of history probably was canceled because the author is not diverse enough, is bizarre to me or the characters or whatever it is.
TODD: [01:28:06] Yeah. So, I mean, so where are you guys at now? I know you’ve you’ve talked to school leaders, are they? And again, the argument would be made. Well, it’s a library. There are books in there. If you don’t want your kid reading the books, you know, don’t let them read the books.
Speaker 3 [01:28:22] That would be one thing, if it was the local public library, because then you kind of have a choice. This is the only library for 100 percent of those children. And so if it’s a philosophical if it goes against everything that they believe, so, for instance, if if they were an atheist, you promoted, you know, the Bible to them, you know, they could be they wouldn’t even feel comfortable maybe going in there and perusing the pro Bible books, which I guess is the rationale behind not putting them there, but maybe if they’re hidden in a shelf somewhere. But this is a blatant promotion against, I would assume, the beliefs of the majority of the children that go to school. But I also sent you a picture of, you know, peer pressure all the kids kneeling to the national anthem. I would guess, based on my feedback that a lot of those children don’t want to kneel. But they’re forced to do so, you just shouldn’t be anyway,
Speaker 1 [01:29:15] They’re they’re getting the kids to kneel for the national anthem?
STANDRIDGE: [01:29:20] Well, their peer pressure and they don’t force them to. But, you know, the way that system works is your teachers, your coaches, your parents, all these people, you know, Neil, Neil, Neil and I, one of the pictures I sent you was that from one of the high schools. And so they try to convince them that somehow. Why lives matter, I mean, they tell them all the stuff. And then they’ll make him feel chastised or marginalized that they don’t feel so, you know, children, it’s kind of like the mass whole mass thing taught. I mean, children do what they’re told in their in their their their minds are just forming. So a lot of this stuff is really taken advantage of the innocence of children.
TODD: [01:30:01] Oh, good Lord. All right. Well, Senator, we appreciate you bringing this to our attention. I mean, this is pretty reprehensible stuff. And especially if they’re trying to, you know, goad the children into taking a knee, that’s just unacceptable.