ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE REPUBLICANS: As Legislators In Ohio Follow Florida’s Lead In Proposing A Parental Rights Bill

Associated Press

It was recently reported by Fox News that Ohio lawmakers have proposed a parental rights bill similar to controversial legislation in Florida that instructs teachers not to engage in instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity with young students.

The legislation, known as House Bill 616 and proposed by Republican state Reps. Mike Loychik and Jean Schmidt, would not allow kindergarten through third grade teachers to “teach, use, or provide any curriculum or instructional materials on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The legislation also requires that teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity must be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for children in fourth through twelfth grade.

“Children deserve a quality education that is fair, unbiased and age appropriate,” Loychik, a northeastern Ohio Republican, said in a statement.

The proposal would also prohibit the teaching of “divisive or inherently racist concepts” including Critical Race Theory. That prohibition is similar to other bills pending in the Ohio Legislature that ban schools from requiring or compelling Ohio teachers to affirm a belief in the systemic nature of racism or “the multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities.”

School districts who violate the ban could lose funding, according to the sponsors.

It’s unclear if or when the bill might become law. Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, said it was too early to comment on the legislation. Last year, the governor questioned the need for a GOP proposal to ban transgender girls from athletic competition in Ohio.

Democrats in Ohio have already begun labeling the bill as “Don’t Say Gay” legislation similar to how Democrats and media outlets have treated a recently signed parental rights bill in Florida that also prohibits classroom instruction related to gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through third grade.

Neither the Ohio bill or the Florida bill contain the word “gay” and neither prohibits teachers from saying the word. 

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“In Florida, we not only know that parents have a right to be involved, we insist that parents have a right to be involved,” Florida’s Republican Gov. DeSantis said at a press conference announcing the signing of the Florida parental rights bill.

“If the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars and as heroes and as all that, if those are the types of people that are opposing us on parents’ rights, I wear that like a badge of honor,” DeSantis added, taking a shot at liberal celebrities who have bashed the bill. “They don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things that we’re providing protections against.”

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