The Ohio State Board of Education is considering several proposals for a new federal LGBTQ policy

Conservative members of the Ohio State Board of Education have presented various proposals against a pending federal rule that would require schools to follow LGBTQ anti-discrimination policies in order to receive funding for things like school programs.

Some of the resolutions support the public’s case against the rules and support bills pending in the legislature that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.

However, LGBTQ advocates, teachers’ unions, and food bank leaders called on the public school board to not move forward with these proposals.

A change in the federal rule and the Ohio court

President Joe Biden issued an executive order in January 2021, stating that sexual identity and gender identity are protected classes that are protected in various federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In May 2022, the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service announced rule changes to follow Biden’s executive order. The change means state and local agencies that receive FNS funding must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual identity.

The USDA added that “those institutions should also update and sign their non-discrimination policies to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, joined a lawsuit with 21 other states to prevent these rules from going into place.

Meanwhile, Ohio Republican lawmakers are sponsoring bills that would bar transgender athletes from playing in all-girls sports and from using locker rooms.

Conservatives believe that if the anti-discrimination plan goes unchallenged and is allowed to stand, schools in Ohio will lose the ability to consider local decisions and state bills that could put schools at risk of losing federal funds for school lunch programs.

The public school board decided

Some members of the Ohio State Board of Education called back the law, including Brendan Shea. He is sponsoring a settlement dispute for Yost’s lawsuit and legislative proposals are under consideration.

In addition, his proposal would require the state superintendent to write to Ohio school district leaders and tell them that the boards oppose federal anti-discrimination policies and do not believe those provisions are being implemented.

After hundreds of Ohioans began weighing in on the original resolution, another member, Mike Toal, offered an amendment that makes changes but leaves the impact of the resolution intact.

At a full school board meeting in early October, members agreed to refer the question to their executive committee for further consideration.

On Monday, that executive committee met and yet another amendment was introduced by Charlotte McGuire, president of the board.

The Ohio General Assembly was urged to “stand still and take appropriate action” for the proposed regulatory changes. It looks at the issue of parental rights, which is intended to “protect and protect the interests and rights of parents, as well as the power of local schools and districts.”

McGuire said the board’s number one goal is to ensure that every child in Ohio, regardless of where they live, their race or any other factor, gets a good education.

She said that when she spoke with the teachers, they told her that a plan should be put in place to ensure that all children have the right educational opportunities.

“I’ll tell you what some black teachers have told me. They say, ‘You talk about all this social transition and our kids can’t even read.’ They told me this: they almost had me in tears,” McGuire said.

McGuire described that amendment as a unity proposition.

“The title of what we think would come together would be a unifying resolution “To promote academic excellence in K-12 education in a safe school environment free from social identity policies that can infringe on the rights of parents, students, and educators. and district administrators,'” McGuire said.

But his proposal, which was introduced in the middle of the meeting, was nothing more than uniting with some of the members of the executive committee and board members who were not members of the council but were invited to participate in the discussion.

Shea called McGuire’s last minute proposal “a big upset.”

“It looks like you’re trying to not take a place and it’s going down in the middle so I don’t see how you can do that,” Shea said.

Diana Fessler, a board member, said she wanted to formally object to McGuire’s proposal and the way he did it.

The original opponents of the Senate

Many people have already joined the resistance to refuse the anti-discrimination policy.

Several groups pushing against LGBTQ protections have said they “demonize” the student population they are already discriminated against.

Transgender students have also appeared before public school boards to share their stories.

That included Conner McLaren, who reported that the boards themselves and other trans students continue to be bullied.

“I’m not a divisive concept. I’m a teenage girl who wants to graduate from high school, go to college, get a job and live my life. Please don’t make it harder for the community to represent me here. Don’t make our school one more thing we have to deal with,” McLaren he said.

Hence the issue could come from here

At the October 12 meeting with the full school board, many members who had supported Shea’s resolution or argued for Toal’s amendment argued that the issue should be moved to the executive committee.

They said that he could be stalled in the assembly. They added that many of the board, who wanted to weigh in on the payment, would not have the opportunity if it was not referred to outside the committee, and to a vote by the full board at the end of this school year. in the second year

Supporters of the Shea solution said this problem needs to be addressed now and not wait.

Toal took up the question with the committee waiting until November 14 to take up the question again.

“I can stay here overnight to get something that we can bring to the table,” said Toal.

But McGuire said he promised staff members that the meeting would end at 4 p.m., because some of them wanted to go home with their families for Trick-or-Treat night.

The executive committee will continue the discussion at its next meeting, on the morning of November 14. A full board meeting will be held at noon on November 15.

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