A “Vote for Honesty” rally will be held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest “attempts by elected leaders in the Statehouse, State Board of Education, and local schools to peddle a national extremist agenda weaponizing race and identity in the classroom.”
The event is sponsored by Honesty for Ohio Education, a “nonpartisan, Ohio-based, statewide coalition that champions honesty in education, the empowerment of students, families and educators, and the affirmation of identities, cultures, and experiences.”
The list of recent legislative attempts attacking educational freedoms in Ohio include:
- HB 151 – The Save Women’s Sports Act. This bill would ban trans athletes from competition and allow anyone to openly question any student-athlete’s gender, subjecting the youth to invasive medical testing and genital examinations in order to compete.
- HB 454 – The Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act. This legislation will would prohibit minors under age 18 from accessing gender-affirming care and force school staff to share with a minor’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.
- HB 616 – Regarding promotion and teaching of divisive & inherently racist concepts. This bill would ban schools from teaching “any divisive or inherently racist concepts” including: critical race theory, intersectional theory, the 1619 project, learning outcomes related to diversity, equity & inclusion, inherited racial guilt, and any other concept that the state board of education defines as divisive or inherently racist. The bill also severely restricts mentioning LGBTQ+ identity in schools. Regarding LGBTQ+ identity, the bill outlines the following bans:
- HB 722 – The Parents Bill of Rights. This legislation would force teachers and school staff to notify parents in a variety of situations concerning students “health and well-being.”
- Resolution to Support Parents, Schools, and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive, and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies. To be considered at their September 20 meeting, the State Board of Education (BOE) of Ohio will be considering this resolution that targets LGBTQ+ students and rejects Title IX language that would protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination.
“We invite every Ohioan who is concerned about educational gag orders and attacks on race and identity to join us at the intersection of education and democracy,” said Cynthia Peeples, founding director of the Honesty for Ohio Education coalition, which includes more than 40 organizations and hundreds of Ohioans from across the state.
- Students from Hilliard City Schools, Forest Hills School District, and The Ohio State University
- Akii Butler, Student Organizer, Ohio Student Association
- Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University
- Scott DiMauro, President, Ohio Education Association
- Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers
- Sean McCann, Policy Strategist, ACLU Ohio
- Maria Bruno, Public Policy Director, Equality Ohio
- Tom Roberts, President, Ohio NAACP
- Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, Associate Director, Ohio Council of Churches
- Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership
- Red, Wine & Blue
- Performance by TRSS Drum Corps
“We believe that an honest education is the bedrock of a high-functioning democracy,” said Peeples. “Now is the time to elect leaders committed to the education and wellbeing of all students, regardless of race, identity, or zip code. This November, we must exercise our greatest instrument power to protect honest education — VOTING!” 🔥
- Attend the rally on Saturday, September 17, 2022 • Noon • Ohio Statehouse, West Plaza. More information here.