We speak with Betty Collins, eighth grade teacher in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Ms. Collins speaks about conservatives’ hostility to Critical Race Theory, which looks at the role of systemic racism in US history. We discuss a just-enacted law in Oklahoma that tries to ban teaching history that may make any students “uncomfortable” and how unions and educators are responding.


00:00-00:46 Intros

00:46-01:10 Union School District, Tulsa County

00:10-02:10 HB 1775

02:10-02:44 Why HB 1775 was passed

02:44-03:59 Critical Race Theory: Misunderstandings and opposition

03:59-05:07 Educators’ responses to HB 1775

05:07-06:11 Range of the law’s impact in different districts

06:11-08:33 Teaching about Blacks and Native Americans through a Critical Race Theory lens

08:33-09:35 Penalties for teaching accurate history?

09:35-10:30 Relationship between HB 1775 and the state educational standards

10:30-11:07 Black and brown students’ discomfort at their true history not being taught

11:07-12:40 Responding to a parent who doesn’t want their child to be “uncomfortable”

12:40-13:05 When Betty Collins learned about the Tulsa Race Massacre

13:05-14:04 Becoming politically engaged through #RedforEd

14:04-16:24 Encouraging students to be civically engaged

16:24-17:13 #RedforEd

17:13-19:00 Oklahoma’s low school funding levels

19:00-21:51 Impact of George Floyd’s murder

21:51-23:00 Anticipated responses of teachers unions and other educators to HB 1775

23:00-25:23 How Oklahoma schools teach about Native Americans in Oklahoma

25:23-27:45 Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode. 


Soundtrack by Poddington Bear

Painting “The Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneux (1942)