Coalition Is Hopeful Following State Board of Education Votes to Refer Anti-LGBTQ+ Resolution and Amendment to Committee
Referral shows need to keep focused on care and education of vulnerable young people
October 12, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS — Today, the State Board of Education referred a resolution to the Executive Committee for further consideration that would have undermined support for vulnerable LGBTQ+ students and called on local school districts to flout federal law. In response to the Board’s action, Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education, a nonpartisan statewide coalition representing nearly 50 organizational partners, released the following statement:
Today’s vote shows that a majority of State Board of Education members are unwilling to submit to a divisive national agenda imported into Ohio by politicians who want to stoke fear and division for political gain. We are optimistic that this referral to the Executive Committee will be fruitful in the coming months and we will continue to monitor the issue.
Honesty for Ohio Education applauds these board members who stood up for young people in Ohio and who seek to create an honest and inclusive system of public education in our state.
We are concerned that an amended resolution proposed by Board Member Mike Toal, while stripping out some of the most objectionable and unlawful language of the defeated resolution, nonetheless continues efforts to put vulnerable LGBTQ+ children in harm’s way.
Every young person and their family, no matter what they look like or how they move in the world, wants to be included in their school community. The State School Board should be focused on efforts to include, nurture and educate all children, rather than attacking the most vulnerable.
"If you want to bully trans kids in our state, you'll have to go through us."
Cam Ogden, Trans Youth Advocate
“We are thankful the School Board is taking the time to thoughtfully work through this resolution and we are hopeful for a positive result. We will be looking forward to continuing conversations with board members.”
Maria Bruno, Public Policy Director, Equality Ohio
“Educators know that we give our students the best chance at success when we create a learning environment that is safe, inclusive, and welcoming. As the Board continues to deliberate, we urge them to reject this divisive and unnecessary resolution. The Board should not defy federal law or target students for discrimination. As a union, and as educators, we will continue to fight for the rights, freedoms, and protections that all of our students are entitled to under federal law.”
Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers
“Ohio’s educators work tirelessly every day to create the safe, welcoming schools our students need to thrive and become successful citizens in our diverse and interconnected world. The State Board of Education demonstrated its commitment to that mission, too, by taking a step back and agreeing to further consider the impacts of this harmful resolution. We applaud our state leaders who stood up to extremist voices who are seeking to distract Ohioans from the real issues facing our public schools. We must continue to work together to deliver great schools for every child, no exceptions.”
Scott DiMauro, President, Ohio Education Association
"KYC appreciates the leadership of the Board members who advocated for the resolution to be moved to committee. As Board member Miller stated “These kids exist”. Indeed they do, and we look forward to supporting the Exec Comm community in determining the best ways to support what matters most, which is the youth and students in Ohio."
Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S, Executive Director, Kaleidoscope Youth Center
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. The coalition represents more than 40 national, state, and local organizations, and hundreds of students, families, and educators across the state.