Bill to limit critical race theory in schools introduced into Ohio Statehouse

State News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Harrison County legislator has introduced a bill into the Ohio General Assembly that would prohibit critical race theory from being taught in Ohio’s K-12 schools.

State Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) introduced the bill, HB 322, Tuesday.

According to Jones, the bill would prohibit state agencies, school districts, or schools from teaching any of the following:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex
  • An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race
  • An individual’s moral standing or worth is necessarily determined by the individual’s race or sex
  • An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex
  • The advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States
  • With respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of or failures to live up to the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.

Critical race theory is a concept that looks at how race relations have shaped the legal, social, and political aspects of society. Many states across the country are currently debating bills similar to the one Jones has introduced, with Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee among the states passing bills either banning or severely limiting critical race theory in schools.

The bill, as introduced, will also prohibit action civics in the state’s curriculum. The bill says this would prevent schools from forcing students to “advocate and lobby” for specific positions at the federal, state, or local levels.

In a press release announcing the bill, Jones called critical race theory “dangerous” and “flat-out wrong history.”

“It is designed to look at everything from a ‘race first’ lens, which is the very definition of racism,” he is quoted as saying in the release.

The bill is awaiting a committee assignment.

The anti-CRT movement in Ohio appears to be building, with Ohio Attorney General David Yost joining 16 other state attorneys general in urging the White House to give up plans to tie critical race theory to educational grants.

In a statement announcing the letter, Yost said critical race theory is “flawed curriculum” that “rewrites American history.”

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