During its monthly regular meeting in May, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a resolution opposing Ohio House Bill 616. HB 616 is promoted as an intent to amend and enact sections of the Revised Code regarding the so-called promotion and teaching of “divisive” or “inherently racist” concepts in Ohio’s public schools.
Other school districts, higher education institutions, government bodies, students, families, non-profits, businesses, and communities are invited to stand with CH-UH and speak out against this proposed limitation of a foundational principle of democracy — education.
Ask your local school board if it has taken the time to pass a resolution opposing House Bill 616. If the BOE hasn’t done so, please share this easy-to-copy-and-paste text based on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education’s statement, as well as some language from other school districts around Ohio, and encourage board members to personalize and pass a resolution:
A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING OPPOSITION TO OHIO HOUSE BILL 616
WHEREAS, Ohio House Bill 616 has been introduced to amend and enact sections of the Revised Code regarding the promotion and teaching of so-called divisive or racist concepts in Ohio’s public schools; and
WHEREAS, provisions within this bill are contrary to the values of the __________________ Board of Education, which intentionally creates school environments where students and staff can learn, work and live with dignity and respect- free from fear and violence and protected against racism and discrimination; and
WHEREAS, far from eliminating racism and discrimination, House Bill 616 would perpetuate racism and discrimination and would limit the concepts, ideas, and materials that may be taught and used in the classroom to combat racism and other forms of discrimination; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 616 is poorly written, allowing the State Board of Education to define concepts it finds to be “divisive” or not “age and developmentally appropriate.” We remind the legislature that the only licensed educator currently on our State Board of Education opposes HB 616; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education is concerned that HB 616 seeks to limit candid conversations about race and gender identity in our schools, spaces in which all children should feel safe and welcome. The Board of Education is further concerned that HB 616 embraces fear and would exacerbate a mental health crisis that already exists within our schools and community in the wake of the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the ___________________ Board of Education urges legislators to return to their traditional “home rule” stance by not imposing their cultural agenda onto our community.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the ___________________ Board of Education believes that our state licensed professional teachers and administrators are best qualified to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of instructional materials and educational techniques in our classrooms.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the _____________________ Board of Education strongly opposes Ohio House Bill 616 and requests that our state legislators not only vote this bill and others like it down, but to condemn the divisiveness caused to the students and families of Ohio.
The Superintendent is directed to forward this resolution to the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.