LGBTQ+ community coalition offers State Board of Education professional development and training opportunity in advance of December meeting
Anti-LGBTQ+ resolution scheduled for vote on December 13, 2022
DECEMBER 1, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS — Ahead of a pending State Board of Education vote on a harmful anti-LGBTQ+ resolution, scheduled for December 13, 2022, Honesty for Ohio Education calls on Board members to participate in a professional development opportunity being offered by five organizations across the state. The letter, sent to all State Board members on November 30, is attached following this press release.
Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Equality Ohio, GLSEN Northeast Ohio, TransOhio, Just ACTS LLC, the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, and YWCA Columbus offered to provide immediate customized professional development services and capacity building focused on the LGBTQIA+ community to the entire State Board of Education in advance of their December meeting. According to their public letter to the Board, these organizations are offering professional development on a wide range of topics to be selected by Board members, including “LGBTQIA+ identities, best practices for supporting LGBTQIA+ students, how to respond to questions about LGBTQIA+ inclusion in schools and workplaces, how to address biased language about LGBTQIA+ identities, and Title IX compliance.”
The Board is set to vote on Tuesday, December 13, for the rejection or adoption of Member Mike Toal’s second amendment of Member Brendan Shea’s resolution that opposes federal Title IX anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students, and perpetuates harmful falsehoods about the LGBTQ+ community. The resolution has been roundly protested by LGBTQ+ students, families, and educators directly impacted by the proposal, as well as legal and medical professionals, school leaders, advocacy groups, faith leaders, voters, and taxpayers.
“This proposed resolution is state-sponsored discrimination against LGBTQ+ students and families,” said Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education. “Since the initial resolution was introduced, we’ve witnessed incorrect usage of labels describing identities, incorrect usage of pronouns, inaccurate definitions of key LGBTQ+ terms describing social or healthcare needs, including the resolution language itself. We’re trusting the Board will accept this offer to learn about the students and families directly impacted by this proposal and gain a deeper understanding of the grave harm and danger this resolution presents. Surely our state education leaders would not balk at an opportunity to educate themselves about the rights and safety of the students they swore an oath to serve.”
Amanda Erickson, Director of Education and Outreach at Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, said, “Kaleidoscope Youth Center is here as a resource and support for educators and administrators as they continue to approach these issues. If members of the State Board of Education want to create policies that directly impact LGBTQIA+ youth, then we need them to have the basic knowledge and understanding of LGBTQIA+ identities and best practices for supporting LGBTQIA+ students."
The letter was sent to the full State Board of Education membership on November 30, 2022. Read the full letter below.
Honesty for Ohio Education is a nonpartisan, statewide coalition that champions honest education, affirmation of identities, cultures, and experiences, the well-being of students and educators, and local control in education. We are united in the belief that every young person deserves an honest, high-quality education grounded in facts and diverse perspectives, regardless of their background, race or zip code. The coalition represents more than 50 national, state, and local organizations, and hundreds of students, families, and educators across the state.