There was nationwide support for the State School Board of Ohio’s Resolution 20 (P. 57-59) to advance equity and condemn racism in our schools, which was passed in 2020. Many agreed that we must all be dedicated to equity and to the thoughtful teaching of our children that racism, bigotry and hatred should have no place in our country, state, and system of schools and that our children are worthy of a culturally responsive curriculum that reflects their collective ancestry and backgrounds- one that empowers them to value every culture.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, “the resolution became a lightning rod in the debate over teaching about race in Ohio classrooms, drawing dozens of protesters and counter-protesters to state board meetings in recent months. Opponents of Resolution 20 said its wording intentionally opened the door for districts to teach ‘disturbing’ and ‘divisive’ material about racism and identity and that lesson plans would go against America’s founding principles and divide kids into oppressors and the oppressed.”
Regrettably, Ohio’s State Board of Education repealed its anti-racism resolution in October 2021 and replaced it with Resolution 13 that condemns “any teachings that seek to divide.”
Cheers for the Akron Public Schools Board of Education, which condemned recent action taken by the State BOE of Ohio to repeal its anti-racism resolution! Education advocates look forward to similar actions by other school boards around the Buckeye State.
Though the recommendations for Ohio schools were repealed by Resolution 13, state board member Christina Collins said she thinks a lot of that work will continue. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t prohibit anything,” Collins said. “it isn’t law, and it doesn’t force districts to do anything different.”
Ohio school districts can even copy/paste and personalize this template to pass their own anti-racism resolutions:
_________________________ Board of Education Resolution
(Language adopted from the Ohio State Board of Education’s Preamble and Resolution of July 14, 2020)
RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN RACISM AND TO ADVANCE EQUITY AND OPPORTUNITY FOR BLACK STUDENTS, INDIGENOUS STUDENTS AND STUDENTS OF COLOR
The _____________________ Board of Education hereby ADOPTS the following Resolution:
Whereas the Ohio State Board of Education passed a Resolution to Condemn Racism and Advance Equity and Opportunity for Black Students, Indigenous Students and Students of Color in 2020; and
Whereas the Ohio Educator Standards Board voted unanimously in June 2021 to support the Ohio State Board of Education’s Resolution to Condemn Racism and Advance Equity and Opportunity for BIPOC students; and
Whereas the Ohio Strategic Plan for Education: 2019-2024 Each Child, Our Future, adopted by a resolution of the State Board of Education in June, 2018 begins with the vision that in Ohio each child is challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society; and
Whereas a culturally responsive curriculum reflects the history and background of all students, and empowers students to value all cultures, not just their own; and
Whereas research has shown that a culturally responsive curriculum can motivate students of color to a higher level of academic achievement and in many cases increase the graduation rate of previously disengaged students; and
Whereas the ____________ Board of Education believes that public schools are fundamental to a democratic society, and we must be dedicated to equity and thoughtful teaching of future citizens that racism, bigotry and hatred have no place; and
Whereas, the path to equity begins with a deep understanding of the history of inequalities and inhumanity and how they have come to impact current society; and
Whereas the State Board of Education strongly recommended in 2020 that all Ohio school districts begin a reflection and internal examination of their own involving all members of their school community to examine all facets of the school’s operations; with a special emphasis on curriculum, hiring practices, staff development practices, and student discipline e.g., suspension/expulsion; therefore, be it
Resolved that the __________ Board of Education condemns, in the strongest possible terms, white supremacy culture, hate speech, hate crimes and violence in the service of hatred. These immoral ideologies and actions deserve no place in our country, state and school system. And be it
Further resolved, that the ___________ Board of Education will be led by our guiding mission and vision as we develop policy and advocate to serve our students from a perspective of equity, anti-racism, and anti-bias.
Public school districts are fundamental to our democratic society, so our children deserve a proper and accurate understanding of our nation’s history and governmental institutions.
The path to equity begins with a deep understanding of the history of inequalities and inhumanity and how they have come to impact society.