Divisive Concepts Being Taught in Ohio Schools
Written by: Lake County Lobbyist I September 23, 2021
House State and Local Government Committee heard testimony on HB-322 and HB-327, two similar bills aimed at curtailing the teaching of “Divisive Concepts” in Ohio schools.
Opponents and proponents alike have taken to calling these “CRT (Critical Race Theory) bills” – I will refrain from that because “CRT” has become a buzzword with no meaningful definition. This reality was on display at the hearing as the Left presented testimony opposing these bills – all the focus was on what CRT ‘really’ is, claims that it’s not actually taught, claims that they only want to teach history as it happened.
This is a misdirection from the actual content of the bills, neither of which mention “Critical Race Theory”. The everyday citizen, and even our representatives who are with us, cannot fight these concepts on these terms. The left invented these terms, knows these terms, and is masterful at manipulating the definition of these terms to suit their needs.
By custom for bills of this level of controversy, these bills had initial hearings during which the sponsors presented testimony. The second hearing focused on proponent testimony. These took place before the summer legislative recess. The third hearing focused on opponent testimony. Opponents during the summer have had time to gear up for this fight: 90 opponents entered testimony for HB-327 and 135 did so for HB-322. This compares to just 36 in favor of HB-327 and 6 in favor of HB-322.
This will be interpreted and spun as Ohioans being opposed to these bills. I encourage you to go to the text of these bills and read them for yourself (links below). These bills aim to ensure that “divisive concepts” are not taught in schools.
Go here to see what the each of bills define as “divisive concepts”, and ask yourself why would so many educational institutions be so opposed to these bills? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VPPW6XUmcz94ErpYvJLl7S87sXhILQKzoUfN6s-UTCA/edit?usp=sharing
Better yet, if you can put up with it, watch their testimony here.
You will see that they are trying to paint proponents as trying to cover up important parts of American history. Read the bills and ask yourself if the bills really do that.
Your representatives NEED to hear from you.
The chair of the committee indicated that further hearings would be held. That means you may still be able to submit proponent testimony by completing a witness slip (https://tinyurl.com/uhrrkx5z) and emailing the chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, call or email your House representative and urge their support, especially if they are a member of the State and Local Government Committee (https://ohiohouse.gov/committees/state-and-local-government).
Drop a line to your Senator as well to let them know this issue is important to you and that you hope similar legislation will be sponsored in the Senate or that the House measures will be moved forward in the Senate when the time comes.
Two Ohio-based groups have educational material on “CRT” and these concepts. Visit https://stopcriticalracetheory.com/ and https://protectohiochildren.net/ for more details.
For a broader but more in-depth perspective, see James Lindsay’s information at New Discourses https://newdiscourses.com/