For Immediate Release

Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party

The Oklahoma Democratic Party Demands a Response from the Superintendent of Public Instruction

OKLAHOMA CITY, — FEBRUARY 20, 2024 – Oklahoma continues to make heartbreaking history. This time, the rhetoric coming from state leadership has contributed to the death of a student.

For the last five (5) years, the state legislature has presented more and more discriminatory bills aimed at children. These bills range from depriving children of the representation that comprehensive history would provide to denying children of their gender identity and beyond. The Superintendent of Public Instruction has added a new level of vitriol to the conversation.

An Owasso student died following a beating in a school restroom. A teacher broke up the fight, and the student was unable to leave the restroom without assistance, and yet, no authorities were summoned. No ambulance, no police.

The child left the school with their guardian, who called the police to the hospital where the child was being treated for injuries sustained while at school. The child died the next day as a result of the beating. This child was non-binary.

This incident happened more than ten days ago, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction has yet to issue a statement. One wonders, with skepticism, if it is because he is developing a safety plan. We certainly hope that the silence is not because the student in question was non-binary.

Non-binary students are students. Children, no matter their gender identity, religious affiliation, or participation in sports, should be safe on school grounds during the school hour. This child died at the hands of other children; children who have heard about these dangerous bills on television, on social media, and perhaps at the dinner table. We have to learn the lesson that political rhetoric has consequences.

“No student should ever have to worry about the safety of going to school. Unfortunately, in our state, there are many reasons for that fear. Teaching children to love their neighbor used to be the southern way; now our leaders call it woke. Teaching children how to regulate their emotions? Our leaders denounced that too. History is clear, when leaders spread hate; it’s reflected in our communities. Over and over again, the examples through time are endless. I’m sure Ryan Walters might find a few in his old lesson plans. Unfortunately, because our leaders seem unwilling to regulate their emotions; one life has ended and many are forever changed,” stated Tate Freeman, President of the Stonewall Federation of Democrats.

Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction has demonstrated that he is more than willing to weigh in on other, less important issues, where is his comment about this deceased child? Where is his humanity? We’ll wait.


For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.