The recent expulsion of two University of Oklahoma fraternity members who appeared in a video participating in a racist fraternity chant has generated a great deal of discussion amongst journalists and academics regarding the issue of whether the First Amendment protects a student's racist speech/conduct from expulsion from a public university. Although many speech advocates have questioned whether the University's actions violate the First Amendment, as federal case law pertaining to public school disciplinary actions indicates, a defense of a student's racist statements as constitutionally protected may not be successful in a legal challenge to the University's decision should the students decide to appeal and/or litigate their expulsions.
H.B. 1380, a proposed bill in the Oklahoma State Legislature regarding Advanced Placement U.S. History courses offered in public schools, is receiving widespread media attention after the February 17, 2015 vote by the Common Education Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives to allow H.B. 1380 to proceed for further consideration. Although the current language of the bill appears limited to U.S. History, there is some speculation, based upon comments by House Common Education Committee members, that similar prohibitions related to other AP courses may be forthcoming.
The recent measles outbreak in the United States has received widespread media attention. According to the CDC, between January 1, 2015 and January 30, 2015, fourteen states here in the U.S. have reported cases of measles infections, accounting for a total of 102 cases. Oklahoma is one of a number of states (including California and Arizona, two of the states reporting the largest number of cases) that allow exemptions based upon religious and personal grounds, in addition to medical necessity.