Oklahoma Official Seeks to Revoke License of Teacher Who Tried to Help Students Read Banned Books

A Norman, Oklahoma, teacher named Summer Boismier said she was placed on leave and ultimately quit after a parent complained on the first day of school that she was helping students access the Brooklyn Public Library’s collection of banned books.

A Norman, Oklahoma, teacher named Summer Boismier said she was placed on leave and ultimately quit after a parent complained on the first day of school that she was helping students access the Brooklyn Public Library’s collection of banned books. The parent asserted that Boismier was flouting the state's ban on teaching critical race theory in public schools, and now an Oklahoma official is seeking to have her teaching certification revoked.

When the new school year began in late August, Boismier’s classroom featured books covered with butcher paper and a QR code linking to the BPL. A parent quickly complained, and the teacher said she was put on leave, but resigned days later. In an interview with VICE News published August 24, she said she left due to “ideological differences” with the school district, but planned to keep teaching elsewhere.

However, Oklahoma’s Republican Education Secretary Ryan Walters is now trying to keep that from happening. Walters sent a letter to the state Board of Education on Wednesday calling for Boismier’s teaching license to be revoked, saying, “There is no place for a teacher with a liberal political agenda in the classroom.” He added, “Ms. Boismier’s providing access to banned and pornographic material to students is unacceptable and we must ensure she doesn’t go to another district and do the same thing … Teachers are one of our state’s greatest assets and it is unfortunate that one of them has caused such harm and shame for the entire profession.”

Despite Oklahoma’s restrictions on teaching critical race theory, Norman Public Schools claims it does not censor or ban any specific books. An Oklahoma Department of Education spokesperson told the Norman Transcript on Wednesday that there were no plans to file “an application to possibly revoke” Boismier’s certification based on the information currently available.