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Two Ohio House Republicans introduced a bill on Monday similar to Florida’s recently signed Parental Rights in Education law that would ban instruction regarding sexual orientation and gender identity for kindergarten through third grade.
House Bill 616 was introduced by Reps. Mike Loychik and Jean Schmidt.
“Curriculum about gender identity and sexuality has no place in K-3 classrooms, period,” Loychik tweeted.
“That’s why I just introduced a bill to ban curriculum about sexuality and gender identity until 3rd grade in Ohio,” he added.
Curriculum about gender identity and sexuality has no place in K-3 classrooms, period.
That’s why I just introduced a bill to ban curriculum about sexuality and gender identity until 3rd grade in Ohio.
— Representative Mike Loychik (@MikeLoychik) April 5, 2022
“The classroom is a place that seeks answers for our children without political activism,” Schmidt said in a statement. “Parents deserve and should be provided a say in what is taught to their children in schools.”
The bill also seeks to ban material related to critical race theory, mimicking language from a South Dakota law that restricts divisive concepts in the classroom. The bill specifically includes the prohibition of teaching critical race theory, intersectional theory, the 1619 Project, diversity, equity, and inclusion learning outcomes, and inherited racial guilt.
Regarding its similarities to the Florida law, the Ohio version would be limited from the ability to “teach, use, or provide any curriculum or instructional materials on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
In addition, students in 4th-12th grades would be kept from instruction concerning sexual orientation or gender identity that is not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Some Ohio opponents of the bill claim the bill is too vague and could cause harm to LGBTQ+ families.
“There is far too much ambiguity in the bills,” Ohio State Board of Education Member Christina Collins said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “They continue to ignore that Ohio’s districts already have policies around the teaching of controversial issues.”
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came under criticism from the left after he signed the state’s Parental Rights in Education legislation last month. The Daily Wire reported:
The governor promised Monday that parents have a “fundamental” role in the education, upbringing, and healthcare of their children, insisting that he will never cave to pressure from outside groups like Disney on this matter.
DeSantis noted that there has been much talk about HB 1557, pointing to “sloganeering and fake narratives by leftist politicians, by activists, by corporate media.”
While some critics have not read the legislation and are merely guessing what it says through their fake narratives, DeSantis said, “leftist politicians, corporate media outlets, some of these activist groups, they actually have read the bill.”
“And they are sloganeering because they don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things we are providing protections against,” he said.