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Parental disclosure requirements for sex ed, gender identity clear Ohio House

A bill requiring public schools in Ohio to notify parents when they’re going to be teaching about sexuality or when their child requests recognition for a new gender identity cleared the state House on Wednesday over the objections of LGBTQ+ rights advocates, civil rights groups and school counselors.

The proposal cleared the Republican-led chamber 65-29 and is now headed to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

The House bill mandates that Ohio’s public school districts create policies that require parental notification of any “sexuality content,” which it defines as “any oral or written instruction, presentation, image, or description of sexual concepts or gender ideology.”

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During testimony on the bill last month, Lisa Breedlove Chaffee, director of Parents Rights In Education for Ohio, said the bill would “protect my child and all children from misinformed and/or activist teachers and school counselors.” She was among just a handful of supporters to speak in favor of the bill.

The most divisive elements of the bill were added in committee mere hours before it moved to the floor the first time on June 14, prompting opponents to complain that they had not been given an opportunity to publicly object. The legislation suddenly stalled that day, however, after a maneuver to informally pass it and retain its place on the calendar.

The legislation’s Republican sponsor, state Rep. Sara Carruthers had said in an interview this spring that it was “not meant to be a controversial bill.”

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