Ohio Board of Education Votes in Favor of Resolution to Reject LGBTQ Additions to Title IX

The Ohio Board of Education’s executive committee voted in favor Monday to move forward with a resolution that could reject proposed changes to broaden the definition of sex-based harassment and discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation for LGBTQ students.

The committee voted 5-2 to move ahead with the amendment. With the executive committee’s vote, the entire Ohio Board of Education will debate and potentially vote on the resolution on Tuesday.

Board Member Brendon Shea (District 5) wrote the resolution after the education department proposed changes in June to Title IX, which is a federal program that protects people from discrimination based on sex.

“Sex is not arbitrarily ‘assigned’ at birth but rather identifies an unchangeable fact,” the Shea resolution reads. “There are observable, quantifiable, and immutable differences between males and females. The reality of biological sex can no more be altered than can the reality that two plus two equals four.”

Critics of the resolution, such as Rachel Chilton with the Ohio School Psychologist Association, say reports show youth who attend schools that support the LGBTQ community have lower rates of attempted suicide.

“Banning affirming behavioral and medical care for minors goes against widely recommended medical advice and would harm the mental and physical well-being of all LGBTQ+ youth across the state, especially transgender and nonbinary youth,” Chilton said.

Board members voted to send the resolution to the executive committee after hours of public comment during their meeting last month. Shae introduced the resolution in September, titled the “Resolution to support parents, schools, and districts in rejecting harmful, coercive, and burdensome gender identity policies and to protect federal funding subject to Title IX.”

The amendment to Shea’s resolution, written by board member Mike Toal, is titled “resolution to oppose the proposed changes to Title IX and to affirm parental rights and local control of Ohio K-12 education.” The amendment contains multiple changes from Shea’s original resolution.

Toal’s amendment removed a line that commanded Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction to inform each public school district and institution that the new Title IX guidance is “non-binding and unenforceable.”

In July, Ohio Attorney General David Yost, along with 21 other attorneys general, filed a lawsuit arguing that the changes are illegal.

“This is classic federal policy – literally converting carrots into sticks and using them to beat a political agenda into local schools. When will the Biden administration learn that making law is the legislature’s role?” Yost said.

A federal judge in Tennessee ruled in their favor, resulting in a temporary block of portions of the new Title IX changes. A final ruling is still pending.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Brendan Shea” by Ohio Department of Education. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.

 

 

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