(The Center Square) – After a meeting that lasted several hours, the Ohio Board of Education now plans to vote in October on an amendment that says biological sex is not arbitrarily assigned at birth and is an unchangeable fact and opposes proposed federal Title IX changes.
More than 60 people testified at the meeting, which lasted well into the late afternoon, with the majority opposed to the resolution that also would require the state superintendent of schools to send a letter to all schools that receive federal funds urging them to not set up policies that align with the proposed federal guidelines.
Board member Brendan Shea introduced “Resolution to Support Parents, Schools and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive, and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies,” which calls on the state Legislature to provide special funding for districts that reject proposed federal changes and says many parents hold deeply religious beliefs that God made male and female.
Shea, on Wednesday, responded during the meeting to criticism.
“It’s awfully burdensome and heavy handed for the federal government to force every school in the nation to adopt radical gender identity policies to continue to receive federal funds,” he said.
The resolution met with a strong reaction from board members Christina Collins, Meryl Johnson, Michelle Newman and Antoinette Miranda, who released an official statement regarding the resolution.
“The resolution not only advocates for state-endorsed lawlessness; it also works to codify the exact discrimination that Title IX was developed to prevent. As members of Ohio’s State Board of Education (speaking on behalf of ourselves and not the board), we are embarrassed that our time as a board will be spent discussing an issue that so egregiously works to bully children and threaten adults,” the statement read.
The resolution also calls on the General Assembly to require schools and districts to disclose information to parents when a child “claims a discordant gender identity, questions their gender identity, requests alternative names or pronouns, or otherwise indicates mental or emotional distress about their gender identity.”
It also says children are harmed when parents are not allowed to make decisions to protect their child’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
As previously reported by The Center Square, the Biden administration’s proposed policy changes mean schools nationwide must comply with a series of pro-transgender policies in areas such as sports, housing, locker rooms and bathrooms if they want to continue receiving federal funds. While the circumstances may vary, a school could endanger its federal funding by refusing to use a student’s preferred pronouns or to let a biological male who identifies as a girl use female bathrooms and locker rooms.