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Ohio Education Association and Ohio Federation of Teachers Oppose Legislative Attack on Trans Students

[April 14, 2021] Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Scott DiMauro, President of the Ohio Education Association, released the following joint statement in opposition to HB 61 & SB 132, bills that would ban trans students from competing in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

“These bills — HB 61 and SB 132 — are not just a sports ban, this is part of a coordinated national attack on the safety and lives of trans students. As educators, we are speaking up because we know that our students don’t thrive when they’re not safe and healthy, and because every student deserves respect and equal opportunity.

HB 61 and SB 132 are a bad solution in desperate search of a problem. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has already implemented a detailed policy that ensures that trans students have equal opportunity while maintaining fair competition in women’s sports. Efforts to throw this policy out in favor of widespread discrimination of trans athletes are just mean-spirited attempts by some politicians to wage a culture war in our schools rather than addressing the real problems that Ohioans face. While these bills won’t address any needs in our schools or any real issues with school sports, they will send a harmful message to trans students that they are not welcome and that it is not safe for them to be themselves in our schools.

Multiple studies have shown that trans youth attempt suicide at much higher rates than their peers. The existence of these bills and the vitriol that they spark are exacerbating factors that will put our students at greater risk. Over the past year, we stood up for commonsense COVID precautions in our schools because part of our job is keeping our students safe and that’s also why we are strongly opposed to HB 61 and SB 132.”

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