Ohio Lawmakers Introduce Their Own Version of Florida’s Parental Rights Legislation

Two Republican lawmakers in Ohio introduced a bill Monday in the state House, which mirrors Florida’s Parents Rights in Education law.

Mislabeled as “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, Ohio’s HB 616 sets up another state as a culture war battleground between supporters and opponents of banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. State Reps. Mike Loychik and Jean Schmidt emphasize that parents should have a say in what is taught to their children, and the controversial LGBTQ+ themes have no place in K-3 classrooms.

The bill prohibits instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades four through 12 if it is in “any manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for the students. The instruction must also be in accordance with state standards.

Members of the public may file complaints against school employees who they believe violated the law, according to the proposal.

The bill would prevent public schools from teaching subject matter that promotes or endorses “divisive or inherently racist concepts.” The prohibition includes Critical Race Theory and the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which presents the history of the United States through an anti-white and anti-American lens. The 1619 Project dates the country’s beginning to the first slaves being brought to the Virginia colony.

LGBTQ+ advocates argue that legislation such as that passed in Florida makes schools less inclusive and safe for children. They protest it will in effect gag teachers from classroom discussions of important issues and is merely an attempt to “erase” LGBTQ+ people and rewrite history in its supporters’ favor. Gay rights advocates in Florida sued Gov. Ron DeSantis last week to block implementation of the new law, criticizing it as “state censorship” and a “grave abuse of power.”

What is continually ignored by the left in the Florida, and now Ohio, controversies, is the age of the children being protected from inappropriate instruction. The entire controversy shows exactly where they stand: on the wrong side of history.