Last week, State Representatives Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula) introduced House Bill 327, a bill to promote education not indoctrination, by prohibiting school districts, schools, teachers, and state and local entities, from promoting divisive concepts.*
Divisive concepts are clearly defined within the bill as training or requiring someone to believe that they are better or worse than another person based solely upon the external characteristics of “nationality, race, color, ethnicity, religion, or sex,” similarly described in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Rather, the bill sponsors stated that they want “to promote respect for all, strength through diversity, and recognition of the contributions of others whose external characteristics differ from ourselves.”
HB 327 specifically encourages the objective instruction and impartial discussion about divisive concepts while prohibiting the promotion, indoctrination or forced acceptance of the concepts contained therein.
“We oppose racism,” Representative Grendell said. “The purpose of this bill is to provide equal and non-discriminatory education opportunities to students, while preventing further division among Americans.”
“Racism is ALWAYS wrong,” Representative Fowler Arthur agreed. “This bill does NOT prevent schools or government entities from teaching about racism, slavery, and segregation. What it prohibits is schools from indoctrinating students by claiming one race is superior to another or that individuals should be treated differently on the basis of race. HB 327 encourages the objective instruction about and discussion of divisive concepts, rather than allowing taxpayer dollars to be spent on concepts that divide, rather than unite, students.”
Representatives Grendell and Fowler Arthur both said this is an issue of concern for their constituents and parents across the state of Ohio, who have expressed concerns about increasingly racially antagonistic materials being taught in their children’s classrooms.
“This is a significant statewide issue,” Representative Grendell said. “We continue to hear it from our colleagues, as well, and that is one reason we have thirty-five co-sponsors supporting the bill.”
HB 327 is now waiting for assignment to committee for public hearings on the proposal. A substitute bill to further clarify the sponsor’s intent is being developed, starred words are part of the substitute bill language, which will be proposed in the committee process. The representatives welcome constituent feedback - Grendell: 614-644-5088, email@example.com and Fowler Arthur: 614-466-1405, firstname.lastname@example.org.