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Oklahoma AG sues to block Catholic charter school, claiming it's a 'gross violation of our religious liberty'
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Oklahoma AG sues to block Catholic charter school, claiming it's a 'gross violation of our religious liberty'

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond (R) filed a lawsuit on Friday to block the nation's first religious charter school that would receive taxpayer funding, Just the News reported. Drummond claimed the school would be a "gross violation of our religious liberty."

Earlier this year, the AG repealed his predecessor's decision to approve taxpayer-funded religious charter schools. According to Drummond, such institutions would create a "slippery slope" and violate constitutional rights.

While Drummond considers himself "a strong supporter of religious liberty," he claimed that the approval of state-funded charter schools "does nothing to advance that worthy cause."

On Friday, Drummond filed a lawsuit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court against the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board and its members to block the approval of the St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Charter School.

"There is no religious freedom in compelling Oklahomans to fund religions that may violate their own deeply held beliefs," Drummond stated. "The framers of the U.S. Constitution and those who drafted Oklahoma's Constitution clearly understood how best to protect religious freedom: by preventing the State from sponsoring any religion at all."

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt expressed support for religious charter schools. In a Friday statement, Stitt called Drummond's lawsuit a "political stunt" that "runs counter to our Oklahoma values and the law."

Drummond argued that the approval would force taxpayers to fund other religious institutions that do not align with their personal beliefs.

"Because of the legal precedent created by the Board's actions, tomorrow we may be forced to fund radical Muslim teachings like Sharia law," Drummond said. "In fact, Governor Stitt has already indicated that he would welcome a Muslim charter school funded by our tax dollars. That is a gross violation of our religious liberty."

"At a time when Oklahoma students underperform their peers across the country in every subject, why would we spend one penny of our tax dollars educating them on Catholicism, Sharia law or any other religious teaching?" Drummond continued. "I would prefer we focus on reading proficiency so they can read the Bible at home with their family."

Stitt stated, "AG Drummond seems to lack any firm grasp on the constitutional principle of religious freedom and masks his disdain for the Catholics' pursuit by obsessing over non-existent schools that don't neatly align with his religious preference. His discriminatory and ignorant comment concerning a potential Muslim charter is a perfect illustration."

"The creation of St. Isadore's is a win for religious and education freedom in Oklahoma. We want parents to be able to choose the education that is best for their kids, regardless of income. The state shouldn't stand in the way," Stitt added.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →