A bill targeting “divisive concepts” that specifically names Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other far-left agendas in schools has been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly.
“The school district board shall not select any textbook, instructional material, or academic curriculum that promotes any divisive or inherently racist concept …” the text of HB 616 says.
It continues to define what “divisive or inherently racist” concepts are.
According to the bill, any CRT teaching falls into the category of “divisive.” So does intersectionality – the far-left concepts that go hand in hand with CRT, focusing on sexually and racially “oppressed” minorities.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion learning outcomes” would be banned under the bill, as would “inherited racial guilt.”
The New York Times’ infamous 1619 Project, which seeks to re-write U.S. history, would be banned from Ohio’s schools too.
The bill also stops the state from forcing teachers to undergo any kind of diversity training in order to obtain or renew a teaching license, and in fact dictates that such training does not count towards any education licensure.
“No teacher shall receive continuing education credit or other credit required for licensure renewal for any seminar or other program that teaches, promotes, or endorses divisive or inherently racist concepts,” according to the bill.
HB 616 was introduced by State Representative Mike Loychik (R-Vienna), who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Similar bills were introduced during last year’s legislative session in Columbus, but none were passed into law.
However, banning “divisive concepts” is gaining momentum in state legislatures nationwide.
Just last month, the Senate in Georgia passed a bill banning such concepts from being taught in its schools. The Georgia House approved a version of the bill Monday.
In the same vein, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) last week signed the now-infamous HB 1557, an anti-grooming bill that prohibits kindergarten through third grade teachers from discussing sexuality and gender with their 5-to-8-year old students.
That bill has resulted in protests of the state, including one by Disney, the state’s largest employer, which says that it will work to get the bill repealed or struck down in court.
In response, DeSantis threatened to revoke Disney’s “Special Governing District,” which gives the magical kingdom authority to build and expand without having to jump through hoops typically imposed by state and local governments.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike Loychik” by Mike Loychik for State Representative. Photo “Ohio State Capitol” by Jim Bowen. CC BY 2.0.