COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Board of Education is set to vote on a resolution Wednesday that sparked hours of public testimony.
It’s a resolution that some said will support parents and school staff, while others said it will harm LGBTQ+ youth in the state. The state board of education met on Tuesday and is scheduled to vote on the resolution Wednesday.
It’s called the “Resolution to Support Parents, Schools, and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies and to Protect Federal Funding Subject to Title IX.” It was introduced in September by Board Member Brendan Shea.
Amanda Erickson, Director of Education and Outreach at Kaleidoscope Youth Center, is urging the board to vote the resolution down.
“I want them to know that they have the power to make life better for a young of people and that they are instead using that power to make things a little harder when they should be doing the opposite,” said Erickson.
The resolution opposes proposed changes to Title IX that expand protections when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. There have been several edits to the original document introduced in September.
“Women and girls like my three daughters stand to lose an awful lot with these regulations, gender will become purely a matter of identity rather than an objective fact,” said Shea.
Densil Porteous with Stonewall Columbus said the resolution sends a message to everyone, not just those in the LGBTQ+ community.
“Is that your identity could be at risk to being challenged, to be legislated or regulated in some way shape or form, that is not an ok message to send to anyone,” he said.
Erickson said she has heard from youth that come to the center who have concerns about what this means for their future in school.
“Youth are noticing things like our teachers aren’t asking for our pronouns anymore — maybe we have teachers that are not affirming our correct pronouns — and so they’re talking about things like that,” said Erickson.
View the updated resolution here.