COLUMBUS - On Wednesday, State Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) appeared as a guest on the “Cincinnati Edition” where she discussed her opposition to, and perspective on, House Bill (HB) 327. Rep. Ingram was joined in conversation by Northern Kentucky University Associate Professor of Social Studies Education & History, Dr. David Childs. “Cincinnati Edition” also reached out to both Reps. Fowler-Arthur and Grendell about appearing on the show and neither responded.
Read or listen to the story here: Bills in the Ohio legislature seeking to bar 'divisive concepts' stir up controversy
“While we continue to talk about the importance of the freedom of speech and freedom of thought, these bills do just the opposite. Republicans are making us think we cannot talk about this, or we cannot talk about that, because it is wrong,” said Rep. Ingram. “There is freedom of speech, but there is not a freedom of hate. You do not get to create hate and expect that to be free.”
HB 327 is one of a number of bills that seek to ban the teaching of divisive concepts about race or gender. Now in its fourth form, and at least 12th redraft, HB 327 has received six hearings in the House State and Local Government Committee. For the past two hearings, Republicans did not allow testimony on the bill, which could be up for a vote in the near future.
Each version of HB 327 has included a long list of ideas to censor. Originally, this list was taken nearly word-for-word from a 2020 Trump Executive Order, and the ideas being censored were called “divisive concepts.” The most recent version of the bill no longer includes the word “divisive,” but the list of eight banned concepts remains. While the bill sponsors insist the legislation is not backlash from the racial justice protests spurred by the death of George Floyd in 2020, HB 327 now includes a statement of intent that suggests otherwise.