Typically, Oklahoman politics aren’t a great example of anything, but right now they are a shining example of the importance of being politically active and informed. This year, multiple bills have been proposed that are ill-advised and downright ridiculous.

Let’s start with the least-wild bill: The Common Sense Freedom of Press Control Act. Yep, that’s actually the title. This bill would require journalists to have a license. Part of this license would require journalists to prove they have liability insurance worth at least a million dollars.


Even wilder, anyone who wants that license will have to go through a propaganda safety training course developed with the help of PragerU. After journalists have sat through eight (8) hours of this “training,” they still have to put a disclaimer on their work: “Warning: this entity is known to provide propaganda. consuming propaganda may be detrimental to your health and health of the republic.”

PragerU, the notoriously unbiased, propaganda-free institution. PragerU isn’t an accredited university and has a history of spotlighting climate change deniers, among others.

This isn’t the first time Oklahoman politicians have worked with PragerU. In 2023, following Florida’s example, Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters allowed the use of their videos in Oklahoma classrooms. Walters has been featured in some of PragerU’s videos and has been noted praising their work, having used their videos while he was a history teacher.

According to NBC News, co-founder Dennis Prager has admitted to their videos being indoctrination and has asked “What is the bad of our indoctrination?”

All this to say that maybe, just maybe, PragerU isn’t the best institution to get propaganda safety training from. And maybe the public should question why someone who clearly has an in with this institution wants it in the classroom.

Further, licensing the press would be against the First Amendment as it would impede the freedom of the press. This bill, with its ridiculous expenses, would force small papers to close and could stop people like bloggers from using their First Amendment rights.

Next, House Bill 3084. While the name disappoints compared to the previous, the contents sure don’t. It’s a short bill, barely two pages, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in impact. It calls for students who come to school dressed as furries to be banned from school activities and to be taken home by a parent or guardian. If neither can be there, animal control will remove the student. Supposedly, this bill is combating students identifying as animals, a conservative myth that has been disproven. NBC News did an investigation back in 2022 and found that no school was doing this and that no furry was asking.

Should people in power be so easily fooled by a hoax?

According to The Oklahoman, Rep. Justin Humphrey, the author of the bill, said in a video about his bill “If you’ve got an animal coming to school, how about we vaccinate them? How about we get them neutered? How about we send them to the pound?” This statement really negates his defense of the bill’s wording. People asked him about the animal control comment and he claimed it was sarcasm and could be removed later, then suggested that these kids need to see a therapist, according to 2News Oklahoma.

To give context on Humphrey, another bill he authored this year, HB 3133, would classify people of Hispanic descent convicted of gang-related activities as terrorists.

This is an important year for politicians. A new president will be elected in November. Though these examples are ridiculous, they do illustrate the importance of doing research before voting. The people in office have a major impact on American politics and citizen’s lives. Part of the way the system works is through citizen’s voices. Make them heard. Contact representatives about current policies. Go out and vote.

From the Collegian Editorial Board

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