Does Ohio’s Curriculum Bill Ban History & LGBTQ?

Analyzing Ohio's HB 616.
Photo: Library of Congress

The Buckeye Flame and The Columbus Dispatch have claimed that Ohio has introduced a “Don’t Say Gay” bill in its legislature. Jim Obergefell, a candidate for Ohio House District 89, claims the bill harms “LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and staff” and that the bill further bans United States history. 

 The Chalkboard Review staff have reviewed these claims and Ohio HB 616, and have found:

 The Buckeye Flame & The Columbus Dispatch’s claims that the HB 616 constitutes a “Don’t Say Gay” bill is false. Nowhere in the 18 page legislation is “gay” mentioned, nor any restriction to say “gay” or any other “LGBTQ+ identity” in a classroom.

The Ohio bill states that no school may teach, use, or provide any curriculum or instructional materials on sexual orientation and gender identity for grades K-3. Furthermore, no comment from authors Loychik or Schmidt have suggested any ban on “teaching history” or LGBTQ+ students and staff.

 Jim Obergefell’s claims are both false. Nowhere in section 2, paragraph (a) is any mention of any harm to students, teachers, staff, or any requirement to hide any common curricular instruction from students. 

 Concerning the banning of teaching history, no historical information of any sort is banned in HB 616. The bill cites “inherently racist” concepts Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and inherent racial guilt as banned from the classrooms of Ohio schools.

Specifically, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ claims in the 1619 Project have been repeatedly refuted by several historians, historical record, and civil rights leaders. 

Banning pedagogical practices does not constitute “banning history”; outcomes-based interpretation is not considered a historical standard by any state legislature or department of education to date. 

Chalkboard Review Staff
The Chalkboard Review Staff often collaborate on Read the Bill and report articles to ensure multiple perspectives and founded data points are presented.

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