Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced it would expand Title IX – the law passed in 1972 that made it illegal to discriminate against girls or girls' sports teams in public education – to federally protect LGBTQ students from discrimination. Biden's expanded definition requires schools to allow transgender students access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams designated for the opposite gender.
But the Ohio Board of Education, with a majority of Republican members, has passed a resolution by a vote of 10-7 with one abstention, according to Columbus station WBNS. It requires school districts to tell parents when their child "questions their gender identity," wants to be identified by another name or pronoun, or about other matters related to their gender identity.
It also asks the legislature to approve a ban on teaching students in kindergarten through third grade about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Although the measure is not law, Linda Harvey of Mission America says it will help correct the misinformation about the Title IX changes.
"We are hearing that counselors, for instance, are being told that you must keep information – if you're counseling a student about gender identity – from parents because that is federal law. It's not federal law," she tells AFN.
The resolution's opponents claim it is an egregious and harmful attempt to attack and isolate transgender children, but Harvey asserts that is not the case.
"This will go a long way toward shedding light on this very confusing issue that the Biden administration has deliberately made confusing," she says. "We really need for schools to have clarity on this."
Schools in Ohio that do not go along with Biden's amendment risk losing federal funding for their school lunch program. But a letter "intended to inform schools and districts, not to compel them to take a particular course of action" is being sent to all Ohio school districts.