Friday, January 27

State Board of Ed member: Ohio teachers/counselors are “groomers” with goal of “normalizing” pedophilia

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A member of Ohio’s state Board of Education has labeled Ohio teachers, administrators, school counselors, social workers and principals as “groomers” whose goal is to “normalize” pedophilia.

Kirsten Hill was elected to the State Board of Education in November 2018, representing District 2, which includes Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties in addition to northern Hancock County.

On November 22, Hill appeared on the Buckeye School Podcast, a right-wing media offering.

The 25-minute conversation was in advance of an upcoming vote on an anti-trans resolution that would strip LGBTQ+ students of Title IX protections in Ohio.. That resolution will be up for a vote at the Board’s December 13 meeting.

On the podcast, Hill’s comments included the following:

  • I think groomer is an appropriate name to call these teachers and administrators and school counselors and social workers at the schools they’re grooming the kids. Those professionals are trained to affirm. Affirming care. There’s no talk to maybe discuss it further or wait a little bit. No, they’re trained in their professional development and through their associations to affirm a child who declares that they feel like a boy today, maybe they feel like something else tomorrow, maybe they don’t feel like a boy or a girl.
  • (In response to a statement from the about books in schools containing “ridiculous” content) Part of the goal is to obliterate childhood innocence, to erase the distinction between children and adults. I don’t know if you’ve heard the term “minor attracted persons,” that’s a pedophile. They’re trying to normalize this stuff. It’s uh sexualizing the children.
  • (In response to a question from the host, “Is bestiality, is that, is that OK to talk about in schools?”) “It is aimed to separate the children from the family. It’s to break that family down. It’s to um neuter the children so they don’t want to necessarily want to form a traditional family themselves and have children.”
  • (In response to the hosts comment that teachers are not focused on teaching reading and writing) “That’s because they want to make them into citizen activists. To the hardcore Marxist teachers and administrators it’s not about the student learning, how to read ink on paper. It’s learning how to teach the student to be ‘politically literate.’”

The Buckeye Flame has reached out to Hill multiple times for comment on her quotes, but has not received a response. This piece will be updated if a response is received.

Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education, said Hill’s comments do actual harm to Ohio’s LGBTQ+ students.

“We condemn the reckless, transphobic comments made by outgoing State Board of Education Member Kirsten Hill. Her remarks about educators and the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ students not only illustrate her own illiteracy around these issues, they also demonstrate how myopic views around gender identity and anti-discrimination adversely influence public education policy and guidance.

Labeling educators and school staff who affirm and protect LGBTQ+ students as pedophiles and groomers, and reducing gender identity to a phase, perpetuates dangerous falsehoods about the LGBTQ+ community. This type of rhetoric promotes discrimination and violence against an already marginalized community and our most vulnerable youth. 

Ohio deserves state leaders who will focus on the very real education issues facing our students and not waste valuable taxpayer dollars peddling a manufactured crisis steeped in transphobia and extremist talking points. Our students deserve better.”

Hill ran unsuccessfully for Ohio State Senate in 2022, losing in the Republican primary to Nathan Manning with less than half his vote total. Her term on the state Board of Education expires this month, and she will be replaced by former state Sen. Teresa Fedor, a Democrat from Toledo.

Hill organized a bus from Lorain County to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, but has said that she never entered the Capitol. 🔥

Ignite Action:

  • Honesty for Ohio Education has put forth instructions on how to submit testimony for the December 13 Board of Education meeting where the resolution will be discussed to deny Title IX protections to LGBTQ+ students. 

About Author

Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He received the 2021 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year from the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He is the author of "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" (2017), "LGBTQ Cleveland" (2018), "LGBTQ Columbus" (2019), and "LGBTQ Cincinnati" (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University.

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