Oklahoma City – After the article published last Thursday regarding potential unintended consequences of the revised anti-bullying language in SB 222, Senator Rob Standridge and his team (R-Norman) reached out to Ignite Liberty to discuss ways to amend the language to ensure that all students were treated equally under the new legislation. The language as submitted would have redefined bullying as any threats or intimidation done either in person or through electronic communication that, in part, “involved an imbalance of power that was likely to be repeated.”
As was pointed out in last week’s article, the unintended consequences this language could have could be absolutely disastrous to the very causes that Senator Standridge has become a champion of, namely taking on the proliferation of Critical Race Theory in Oklahoma public schools. Under the proposed language, a white, Christian conservative student who stood up for their beliefs could be falsely accused of bullying by a pro-BLM/CRT student that viewed all white students that didn’t bow to the CRT ideology as “aggressors” or “oppressors.”
Deeply concerned about the possibility of these unintended consequences, Sen. Standridge, after discussions with Ignite Liberty President Bryan Armstrong, quickly filed a floor amendment to strike the “imbalance of power” language from the legislation. The bill as it stands now puts its focus on mandating that the school districts be much more proactive in putting plans in place to address/head-of bullying before it starts.
Even though it is a sad commentary on the breakdown of Church and Family government for the Civil government to have to intervene in this area of our children’s lives (and one we must address as a society), SB 222 as now written does an admirable job of addressing this pressing need within our schools. If anti-bullying legislation is going to be on the books the language should be even-handed and fair to all students.
Senator Standridge should be applauded for his willingness to work to find a solution that addresses this dire need while creating an environment that is fair, balanced, and just for all Oklahoma students. The measure is expected to come to a vote on the floor of the House this week, and is likely to pass with strong support.
Flurry Of Pro-Liberty Bills Pass
With the deadline looming for bills to be heard in the opposite house, three pro-liberty bills on the Ignite Liberty Legislative Tracker passed the legislature today while the Governor signed one into law. SB 672 (allowing active duty/national guard/reserves and honorably discharged veterans to transport a firearm in their vehicle without a permit) passed the House with a vote of 79-13; SB 926 (allowing municipal penalties for discharging an air-soft firearm within city limits) passed the House by a vote of 74-8; and SB 646 (allowing employees of establishments that sell alcohol to carry a firearm with the owner’s permission) passed the House by a 78-16 margin. All three bills were endorsed and support by OK2A.
Meanwhile, Governor Stitt signed into law HB 1674. The legislation, co-authored in the Senate by Senators Standridge, Dahm, Bergstrom, Stephens, Jett, and Hamilton, and by Representatives West (Kevin), Roberts (Sean), Humphrey, McDugle, and Steagall in the House, now makes its a crime for anyone to obstruct “the normal use of any public street, highway, or road within by restraining motor vehicle traffic, by approaching motor vehicles, or by endangering the safe movement of motor vehicles or pedestrians,” and makes any person liable for any damages caused by their actions.
The measure also levies penalties to organizations that are found to be co-conspirators in such action, increasing their punishment ten-fold over that of the individual. Most significantly, HB 1674 removes all civil and criminal liabilities from a “motor vehicle operator who unintentionally causes injury or death while fleeing a riot.” The measure becomes enforceable November 1st.