Ohio Reps. Mike Loychik and Jean Schmidt introduced a bill that would prevent schools from teaching “divisive or inherently racist concepts,” taking inspiration from Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida, who recently passed a bill that bans the teaching of left-wing gender identity ideas in the classroom.
House Bill 616 says that no schools “that enroll students who are participating in a state scholarship program” shall teach, use, or provide “for use by any student any curriculum, instructional material, or assignment designed to promote or endorse divisive or inherently racist concepts.”
Schools will be prohibited from offering “training or professional development to employees that promote or endorse divisive or inherently racist concepts.”
“Divisive or inherently racist concepts” are described as those that come from Critical Race Theory, intersectional theory, the 1619 project, diversity, equity, inclusion learning outcomes, inherited racial guilt, and more.
The bill mimics Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, with the Ohio bill banning teachers from showing such materials to children in kindergarten to third grade.
It also covers sexual orientation and gender identity, saying that through grades four through high school, teachers will not “teach, use, or provide any curriculum or instructional materials on sexual orientation or gender identity in any manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Students will be able to file complaints against teachers in violation of teaching such content. Filed complains will allow the school board to summon those for a hearing, and if a they did indeed violate the law, “the department of education shall issue an adjudication order in accordance with section 119.06 of the Revised Code taking licensure action based upon the severity of the offense, including, but not limited to, an official licensure admonishment, licensure suspension, or licensure revocation.”
If a school district is found in violation, “the department of education shall withhold funds from the district based upon the severity of the offense and time frame by which the district complies, which may include a tiered funding penalty, terms for restoration of those funds in the event of compliance, and any other procedures that the department determines are necessary to enforce the prohibitions described in divisions (B) and (C) of this section.”
“The classroom is a place that seeks answers for our children without political activism,” Schmidt said. “Parents deserve and should be provided a say in what is taught to their children in schools. The intent of this bill is to provide them with the tools to be able to see what their child is being taught.”