OFT Opposes House Bill 616

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Columbus, OH — Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, released the following statement about House Bill 616, which combines legislation that bans so-called "divisive concepts" with legislative language similar to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law. 

“HB 616 is yet another attempt by Ohio’s legislative majority to sow division in our schools and communities instead of working to solve problems that Ohio students face. We have previously said that we want legislators to learn from the mistakes of other states that have passed so-call ‘divisive concepts’ bills that in actuality ban honest and age appropriate books and curriculum and force schools to educate about ‘both sides’ of the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Unfortunately State Representatives Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) and Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) looked at the increased fear and discrimination that is happening in Florida schools due to their ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and decided they’d like to see that in our schools and our communities. These bills are reprehensible and it’s time for these legislators to come together with parents, educators, and students to address the actual issues in our schools to make sure that all Ohio students are receiving the world class educational opportunities they deserve.”
 

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The Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) is composed of 54 local unions representing 20,000 members who are active and retired public school teachers, charter school teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, and public employees.