Earlier this year OKHPR helped to pass SB 658. This legislation prohibits public schools and higher education from mandating the covid-19 vaccine and from discriminatory mask mandates for unvaccinated students only. (To read what else the law does, click here). SB 658 was signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt on May 28th.
In a recent news article, University of Oklahoma Dean of Students, David Surratt and and OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler revealed that SB 658 halted their plans to mandate the covid-19 vaccine for students. When asked why OU was not mandating the vaccine Bratzler said “I would love to, but state law was passed and signed by the governor … that explicitly prohibits in-state institutions, colleges, universities and schools from requiring vaccination as a condition of attendance or admittance. We cannot mandate (the) vaccine in Oklahoma.”
OU also lifted its campus mask mandate on June 7th, following Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order prohibiting Oklahoma agencies from requiring masks. “The executive order … explicitly keeps us from requiring a mask for unvaccinated individuals, which is one thing we wanted to do but cannot do now,” Bratzler said.
We are very thankful for Governor Stitt’s leadership in the area of medical freedom. This interview is proof that SB 658 and the executive order signed by the Governor were necessary pieces of legislation in order to ensure that Oklahomans’ medical freedoms continue to be protected!