State Board of Education Poised to
Vote on Anti-LGBTQ+ Resolution
October 6, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Honesty for Ohio Education urges Ohioans to say no to efforts to roll back rights and disregard the law
COLUMBUS — Ahead of a pending State Board of Education vote scheduled for Wednesday, October 12, Honesty for Ohio Education calls on Ohioans to voice their opposition to a resolution proposed by Board Member Brendan Shea targeting LGBTQ+ students and attempting to roll back federal protections.
“We urge concerned Ohioans to contact their representatives on the State Board and tell them to vote no on Wednesday,” said Cynthia Peeples, founding director of the nonpartisan statewide coalition with more than 40 organizational partners. “This latest resolution is part of an organized, national attack on an honest, inclusive education in our state, promoted by people who do not have our children’s best interests at heart.”
The Board is set to vote Wednesday on the ”Resolution to Support Parents, Schools, and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive, and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies.”
“The resolution attempts to invalidate federal protections for LGBTQ+ youth in schools, spreads harmful falsehoods about LGBTQ+ people, and advocates that local school districts ignore federal law,” said Peeples.
Shea’s proposal requires schools to out LGBTQ+ children to their parents no matter the risk to the children and to ban transgender youth from participating in sports or using facilities that align with their gender. It asks the General Assembly to pass "Don't Say Gay" legislation prohibiting "classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity" in grades K-3.
The resolution further requires the Ohio state superintendent to send a letter directing all Ohio school districts to oppose and disregard recent updates to agency guidance for Title IX compliance and not amend district policies in accordance with the law. It goes on to ask the General Assembly to provide stopgap funding to schools not complying with Title IX laws regarding gender identity.
Ohioans who care about the safety and well-being of all students are asked to show up and speak out against the resolution at the State Board meeting on Wednesday, October 12. The meeting will begin at 8 am at the Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front St, Columbus 43215. Those able to submit written or present in-person testimony can find detailed instructions at bit.ly/H4OE_SBOETitleIX.
“All young Ohioans have a right to be included and protected in our state’s public schools,” said Peeples. “Rather than attacking vulnerable children for political gain, our Board members should be taking on the challenge of educating and including all our children in difficult times.”
“This resolution is more of the same — misinformation and targeted bullying of our LGBTQ students for political gains,” said Maria Bruno, public policy director at Equality Ohio. “All Ohio students deserve safe, inclusive school districts in compliance with federal regulations and guidance.”
“Ohio’s educators are, and will always be, committed to creating welcoming schools where every student can learn, grow, and thrive – no exceptions,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association. “We will not let a network of extremists who have been trying to pull the strings in Ohio politics divide us or distract us from the real issues facing our state’s public schools. We must all come together to protect our students and create a future where each and every Ohioan has the freedom to reach their potential.”
“Every student in Ohio, no matter where they live, what they look like, or how they identify, deserves a safe and welcoming learning environment, but this resolution will place some of Ohio’s most marginalized students at greater risk and make them feel like unwelcome outsiders in their own schools,” said Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. “Parents, teachers, and community members need to make their voice heard by giving testimony at next week’s Board of Education meeting or by contacting their state Board of Education member. We must speak up and protect Ohio students.”
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.