Ohio State School Board pushes back vote on resolution opposing LGBTQ+ expanded protections
A resolution by the Ohio State Board of Education that would oppose the expansion of federal Title IX protections to LGBTQ+ students will not come up for a vote until at least October.
The board at its meeting this week decided to not vote immediately on the resolution as an emergency measure and will instead send it through the normal committee process.
The resolution introduced by board member, Brendan Shea, opposes the Biden administration’s plan to include sexual orientation and gender identity to federal discrimination protections.
The resolution became a focal point of this week’s board meeting with dozens of people testifying on the resolution from across the state. Based on reporting from the meeting, most of those who attended the meeting spoke out about the measure which they say will be harmful to LGBTQ+ students.
Two Ohio House Republicans have introduced a measure dubbed the Parents’ Bill of Rights that would require teachers and school staff to notify parents of sexually explicit content taught in the classroom. The bill would also require schools provide alternative content for students whose parents object to the material.
The bill, House Bill 722, is co-sponsored by DJ. Swearingen of Huron and Sarah Carruthers of Hamilton.
The bill also requires the school to adopt a broad parental notification policy on student health and well-being.
LGBTQ+ advocates say the bill makes no exceptions for classes that include health, biology or anatomy. They says the vague language is aimed at chilling classroom conversation on gender and sexuality in classrooms.
The bill co-sponsor, State Representative Swearingeng said in a statement that the bill empowers parents both inside and outside the classroom and sets students up for success by involving parents in the education process.
A judge in Hamilton County who issued a temporary restraining order on Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat bill” says he plans to issue a second order blocking the law through at least early October.
Judge Christian Jenkins is overseeing the case brought by abortion access supporters, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio.
Ohio’s law, bans abortion at about six weeks once fetal cardiac activity is detected.
The “heartbeat” law went into effect almost immediately after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade in June and handed abortion oversight back to the states.
The Ohio Debate Commission has canceled scheduled debates for governor and United States Senate after the Republican candidates decline to take part.
Both Mike DeWine and JD Vance refused to participate in the debates while they Democrat counterparts, Nan Whaley and Tim Ryan accepted. The commission decided it would not hold “empty chair” debates where only one candidate is present.
Nick Castele, Senior Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Ken Schneck, Editor, The Buckeye Flame
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV