'A White-Washing': Senator Lankford, Congress Working To Keep Chinese Influence From Infiltrating Oklahoma Classrooms

Members of Congress are trying to limit China’s influence in America, especially in American schools.

Monday, September 11th 2023, 5:33 pm

By: News On 6, News 9


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Members of Congress are trying to limit China’s influence in America, especially in American schools.

It’s fair to say that the entire delegation has concerns about the Chinese communist party’s efforts to infiltrate and influence Western democracies. Senator James Lankford wants to be sure CCP propaganda is not infiltrating and influencing our classrooms

"So, I want our kids to have a good education on China, they should see communism for what it is," Sen. Lankford said.

But Senator Lankford says that’s not what students see in the curriculum offered by Chinese government-sponsored Confucius Institutes

"You are not getting all the human rights issues that are happening in China, you are not getting all the security things that China is doing against its own people, you're getting a white-washing perspective, Sen. Lankford said.

At their peak, according to the Congressional Research Service, there were more than 100 Confucius Institutes operating in the U.S., including at the University of Oklahoma. It closed in 2020, as have most others.

But a report this summer from the conservative nonprofit Parents Defending Education claimed so-called Confucius Classrooms were still operating in a handful of schools, including Tulsa's Booker T-Washington.

Tulsa Public Schools says the report is wrong. One teacher, they say, has participated in professional development with a Texas organization that partners with Confucius Classroom.

"The teacher’s salary and adopted instructional resources are fully paid for by Tulsa Public Schools," their statement reads. "Contrary to accusations, the district takes no funds from the Chinese government."

If Lankford's legislation were to become law, any district that did accept money from the Chinese government would lose its federal funding.

Lankford says, yes, American students need to learn about China, "but they need to have it from a uniquely Western perspective that understands here's what communism really does to its own people."

Sen. Lankford also introduced legislation to make it harder for entities with ties to the CCP to buy up farmland, especially if it's near a military installation.

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