[February 16, 2022] The Ohio Education Association (OEA) stands with the majority of Ohioans who believe all children deserve the opportunity to receive an honest and reflective education that empowers them to become critical thinkers and strong future leaders.
OEA is appalled by the continuing efforts of certain politicians to force through House Bill 327, which would force educators to whitewash our history and distract from the real issues facing Ohio’s schools. OEA calls on the Ohio House of Representatives to end consideration of the bill.
The revisions included in substitute HB 327, as introduced Wednesday, do nothing to address the irreparable harm this legislation would cause to Ohio’s students. And it actually makes the potential dangers to educators and administrators more confusing. The current version replaces the bill’s original and undefinable “divisive concepts” language with vague references to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, apparently requiring Ohio educators to become constitutional law experts in order to understand what the bill’s sponsors don’t want them teaching.
“Make no mistake, this latest version of HB 327 is just another exercise in smoke and mirrors by some state leaders to deflect their constitutional responsibility to fully fund all of Ohio’s public schools and provide Ohio’s children with the resources they need to succeed,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said. “The lawmakers behind this horrendous bill can dress it up anyway they want as they continue to do the bidding of a national network of extremists who are looking to control the political narrative at any cost. But this new version is just as outrageous and inexcusable as the prior version. And in some ways, it’s worse.”
OEA will continue to stand up for honesty in education and against government censorship in the classroom. Ohioans must come together and call on their elected leaders to do better for Ohio’s students.
“Educators and parents know children must have the opportunity to reckon with the mistakes of our past in order to create a better future for all of us,” DiMauro said. “Instead of anti-freedom state censorship laws, let’s work on pro-student policies like fair funding and better access to learning opportunities for all students.”