A 'frightening snapshot' of future
In the Sept. 15 column "It's clear Columbus parents, kids deserve more options," Jonathan Butcher and Jason Bedrick, representing The Heritage Foundation, presented a series of generalizations in an attempt to push their anti-union, anti-public education and anti-academic freedom positions.
They listed the actions that the Heritage Foundation wants from Ohio lawmakers in order to advance what they call “education freedom.” Their objective is to keep draining money from public schools and making it available to those who want to send their children to private schools.
They have had success with this minority position because our state is so gerrymandered.
That’s why Ohio was seventh in the nation in their school choice ranking. Our Republication legislators saw no problem in funneling public tax money into private schools.
The Heritage Foundation ranks schools just like they rank legislators depending on how closely they mirror their regressive policies. Guess which state was ranked first overall? You’re right – Florida. Think Gov. Ron Desantis banning library books.
Another category was “the ease of viewing school curriculum.”
That is quite the euphemism for forbidding teaching about systemic racism.
States were also ranked on “regulatory freedom.” The examples were laughable, such as they would like to make it easier for schools to hire teachers by getting rid of red tape, even suggesting eliminating teacher certification altogether.
This reveals a total disrespect for the immense responsibility and knowledge base that is required to teach our young people.
Would a shortage of doctors and lawyers call for eliminating medical school and law school? The only requirement that The Heritage Foundation is interested in is a willingness to abide by the party line.
These positions could be dismissed as pipe dreams if they weren’t such a frightening snapshot of where our country could be heading if we can’t do something about the minority rule that we are currently living under. Extreme viewpoints can become law in states where the majority opinion is silenced by gerrymandering.
We owe it to our children to insist on an education that prepares them to function well in a diverse society, to understand our history and to use their gifts to create a world where everyone’s dignity is respected.
Carol Rafferty, Columbus
Don't punish kids
Ohio’s Board of Education must reject the proposed wrongheaded resolution related to gender policies because of Ohio’s shared values of compassion, fairness, equality, and freedom. Student well-being requires that policies affirm students rather than punish them.
The author of the resolution misunderstands the science behind gender; it’s not just XX and XY.
Regardless, children (and adults) not accepted for who they are remain at high risk of depression and suicide. Ohio’s students do not deserve adults acting emotionally and without reason to deny their reality and segregate them.
Neither do the authors understand Title IX: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The purpose is to eliminate discrimination, not codify it.
This resolution does the opposite of what it purports to do.
Rather than provide support, it inflicts harm. I urge board members and all Ohio citizens to reject the resolution: "The State Board of Education stands resolutely with parents, schools, and districts in rejecting harmful, coercive, and burdensome gender identity policies, procedures, and regulations," and instead focus on school funding, support of teachers, and advances in education, not discrimination.
Rev. Laura J. Young, Westerville
Resolution is 'scientifically ignorant'
All students in Ohio schools deserve to feel supported, welcome, and accepted.
Besides the scientifically ignorant suggestion that all human beings have either XX or XY chromosome pairs (they don’t), Brendan Shea’s resolution, "The State Board of Education stands resolutely with parents, schools, and districts in rejecting harmful, coercive, and burdensome gender identity policies, procedures, and regulations," attempts to drag society back to a time when trans students were afraid to divulge their feelings to anyone, afraid to assert their identities, and afraid to express themselves in ways that allow for their individual happiness and personal growth.
The enforcement of what Shea’s resolution incorrectly asserts as “biological reality” has directly led to the mental anguish, social rejection, persecution and discrimination, psychological and physical harm, and in extreme cases, suicide of trans individuals.
The organization I represent, Citizens for a Better Beavercreek, condemns this mean-spirited, cruel, malicious attack on students who seek only the love, support, and acceptance that we all seek as human beings.
We encourage everyone to contact members of the Ohio State Board of Education and communicate in clear, forceful language that this is not acceptable. Take a stand to ensure LGBTQ+ students in Ohio schools feel supported, welcome, accepted – and most importantly, safe.
Jared Cutler, Beavercreek
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Proposal is 'mind-boggling'
It is both ironic and incredibly sad that on Sept. 20, the 49th anniversary of Billie Jean King beating Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match, the front page article, "State forced into Title IX debate for LGBTQ kids," is about Ohio Board of Education member Brendan Shea’s Title IX discrimination resolution that includes banning transgender girls from playing on female sports teams.
It’s mind-boggling that Shea believes the Biden Administration’s expanded discrimination definition to include gender identity and sexual orientation “renders the intent of the original law meaningless.”
Only a privileged person who has never experienced gender discrimination would make such a statement. I suggest Shea consider that equality does not mean less for others. It means equality for all.
Kathy Kelley, Columbus
Cheaper, clean energy fights inflation
In America, hardworking families, small business, and family farmers should have the opportunity and tools to build a good life and contribute to our communities. But rising costs of basic things we need to work and take care of our families, like gas and other energy, hold us all back.
Speeding up investments in cheaper, clean energy like wind and solar would save the average family $500 per year and create quality local jobs that can’t be outsourced. That makes good economic sense.
That’s a big part of what the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act does. If we elect more Democrats, they’ll be able to pass more legislation that will provide working people with greater opportunities to prosper and grow our economy.
Russ Smith, Strongsville
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: Proposed resolution would cause harm to LGBTQ students