Ohio Republicans introduce legislation mirrored after Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill  

On Monday, Republican state lawmakers in Ohio introduced a bill created after Florida’s law that has been called by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as its provisions do not allow the discussion of sex and sexual orientation to be discussed in lower school grades.

Ohio’s HB 616 would also ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation as well as gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.  

State Rep. Mike Loychik, a Republican from Bazetta and one of the bill’s two sponsors, noted in a tweet: “Curriculum about gender identity and sexuality has no place in K-3 classrooms, period.”

The bill’s other sponsor, Loveland GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt, released a statement as well, saying, “The classroom is a place that seeks answers for our children without political activism.”  

Schmidt continued, “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.”

The proposed law is almost certain to draw controversy, as was seen after Florida’s law drew fury and lawsuits from LGBTQ+ activist groups. The Ohio bill would similarly require that any curriculum or instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades four through 12 must be “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”  

The bans would be applied to all public schools, but it would also extend to any private schools that accept taxpayer-funded vouchers.

The bill would permit residents to file complaints against any school employees that are found to be in violation of the bans. Accused educators would be allowed to have a hearing on the allegations, but they would face discipline if they are found to truly be in violation. The school district would also face losing state funding. 




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