Ohio State Board of Education to vote in October on resolution opposing Title IX protection for LGBTQ students

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Department of Education on Tuesday listened for hours of public testimony over a resolution opposing an attempt by the Biden administration to expand protections for gay and transgender students, even at the risk of cutting federal funding for a variety of losing programs.

According to State Board of Education President Charlotte McGuire, the proposed resolution, introduced by Madison County board member Brandon Shea, will be voted on by board members at their next meeting on Oct. 11-12.

The resolution reflects the state school board’s rejection of a proposed US Department of Education provision to extend Title IX protections to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Among other things, the Department of Education said it could launch an investigation if school officials prevent students from joining sports teams or using bathrooms that match their gender identity, or if they allow students’ peers not to use their preferred pronouns.

Schools that violate Title IX could face funding cuts for programs that support everything from classroom instruction to free and low-cost lunches for students.

Under Shea’s order, the state superintendent for public education would have to send a letter to all schools receiving such federal funding, urging them not to align their rules with the proposed LGBT federal rule, which the letter described as “non-binding and currently unenforceable.” “ would denote. ”

The resolution would also steer state school board support behind a lawsuit joined by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost challenging the federal antidiscrimination rule. It would further urge state legislatures to pass laws banning transgender girls and women from playing girls’ and women’s high school and college sports and compel schools to notify parents when their child is after alternative names and pronouns, or question their gender identification.

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“Denying the reality of biological sex destroys fundamental truths on which education is based and irreparably harms children,” the resolution reads.

Speaking to the board early Tuesday night, Shea said the Biden administration is “trying to change the law through regulation, not legislation, which is why we as a state board have to stand up.” He cited recent polls showing that a majority of Americans believe a person’s gender is determined at birth and cannot be changed, and also opposes transgender women and girls participating in teams on the based on gender identity.

Shea acknowledged criticism that when school officials are required to notify parents if their child comes out as gay or transgender, some of these children may attempt to self-harm.

“But we should have the honesty to recognize that there are other children wrestling with this problem who are very likely to be harmed precisely because the people they love most – their parents – have been lied to and excluded because of government policy. ” he said.

“Which would be the greater crime?” Shea asked, “The child who self-harms because their parents have been informed, or the child who self-harms while being systematically informed by a parent’s state of love in that particular area.” deprived of time when it needed it most?”

McGuire asked board members not to discuss or comment on the proposal until their meeting next month. Board member Christina Collins of Medina who tweeted earlier in the day In support of local school officials who testified against Shea’s proposed resolution, McGuire “begged” for board members to be allowed to speak Tuesday in response to Shea’s comments.

“I just want people across the state to know that there are people on this board who have their backs 100% and we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect them,” Collins said, trying not to lash out comment on the resolution. Collins is running for state representative this year as a Democrat.

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On Tuesday morning, before the vote, more than 60 Ohioans addressed the board on the resolution, a majority of whom opposed the measure.

Eric Resnick, a member of the Canton City School District Board of Education, called the resolution “clownesque, very hateful and intentionally harmful.”

Resnick, who is gay, added, “A school district’s approval of its transgender students is neither mandatory nor burdensome unless you believe transgender students are under your concern or you despise them greatly.”

Gahanna School Board President Beryl Brown Piccolantonio opposed the resolution, saying it would encourage “lawlessness” by encouraging schools to ignore federal guidelines. “This resolution is fuel for an already raging fire of a culture war that is already incinerating students,” she said.

Parker Parker, who plays field hockey at Olentangy High School in Columbus, said the resolution aims to “strip my humanity, alienate students like me who just want to be themselves.”

Parker added: “If you ban me from the sport I love, I will lose a piece of my life. … If you take away my right to use the men’s room, I will experience hatred. I get stared at and laughed at by girls because I don’t look like them.”

Maria Bruno, public policy director for Equality Ohio, said the proposed resolution appears to be an attempt to create a conflict between state and federal laws.

Among other things, Bruno said, the resolution would require school districts to violate ethics and confidentiality standards by having school officials notify the parents of students who come out as gay or transgender.

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“Parents have rights and involvement in schools, but those rights are not unlimited,” Bruno said. “Adolescents and teenagers do indeed have a legal right to privacy. Furthermore, there is no legal right of privacy to dictate the curriculum or activities conducted in a public school.”

Deborah Guebert of Delaware County pointed out that opponents of the resolution argued that trans children were at higher risk of suicide. But Guebert said that’s because they feel they “don’t belong,” often because of “early sexual abuse.”

People who identify as transgender “are based on a kind of fantasy that will never bring satisfaction. … What these kids need isn’t people telling them, ‘Oh yeah, your fantasies are right,’ because those are just fantasies.”

Stephen Greer despised the “transgender medical movement” and called it “a crime against humanity” because “doctors offer therapies that cannot be reversed,” such as the use of hormone blockers to prevent puberty.

“We’re at the point where elementary school biology is being denied,” Greer said. “The simplest thing in medicine is distinguishing between sexes with X and Y chromosomes. This is now viewed as discrimination by the far left that is promoting (President) Joe Biden’s agenda.”

Stephanie Lang, a member of the Fort Frye Local School Board in Washington County, spoke in support of the resolution, saying “kids are being bombarded with gender ideologies inside and outside of our schools,” creating an “epidemic” among children.

“If we don’t draw the line between truth and lies, between light and darkness, and between reality and pretense, we will be destroyed from within,” Lang said. “If everyone has their own truth, how can we know what the truth is?”

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