Bill would require Oklahoma schools to teach Thanksgiving history
OKLAHOMA (KTEN) — A bill filed by state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-District 33) is proposing that Oklahoma schools provide students with an understanding of the history and meanings of the Thanksgiving holiday.
If passed, the bill would require public schools, charter schools, career technology centers and higher education institutions to implement five proclamations into curriculum.
The bill specifies the following Thanksgiving proclamations:
- The Proclamation by the Continental Congress for a day of Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777
- The First Presidential Prayer Proclamation issued by President George Washington for November 26, 1789
- The Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for November 23, 1944
- The Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by President Ronald Reagan for November 28, 1985
- The Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by Mayor of Oklahoma City Sidney Clarke for November 28, 1889
“These significant proclamations date back to our founding fathers, and students reading or hearing them leading up to Thanksgiving will give them a better understanding of what the holiday truly means historically,” Dahm said.
Tishomingo Public Schools Superintendent Bobby Waitman believes education about the purpose of the holiday will positively impact students.
"One of the most healthy things — mentally, emotionally, even physically — is to have an attitude of gratitude," Waitman said. "That is the spirit of Thanksgiving."
Senate Bill 2 did not complete the legislative process this year, and will be heard when the 59th Legislature convenes on February 6.