One has to wonder what playbook lawmakers in several states have been following this year, as similar themes are being presented across the country in what looks to be an effort to prevent states from making progress in the areas of communication, education and social justice.
In Ohio, state Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, is trying to drum up support for a proposal in the state legislature that would prohibit “teaching or advocating divisive concepts.” It is just as frightening and nauseating an effort as the one that died in West Virginia’s legislature a couple of months ago.
According to the Ohio Capital Journal, Grendell’s request for cosponsors says the legislation would ensure state education systems and “state entities” would be prohibited from “creating feelings of discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress in individuals on account of his or her race, color, nationality, or sex.”
What, precisely, is Grendell hoping will not be taught in schools? And whose egos is Grendell trying to protect?
Does Grendell want to keep our children from learning about the toll taken on the native population when Europeans first visited this part of the continent, slavery, the unfinished battle for women’s rights, migrant and immigration issues, the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II? The list of things teachers might be afraid to examine with their students is a long one.
Why is Grendell so willing to play fast and loose with the First Amendment in legislating what people can discuss?
Thoughtful Buckeye State lawmakers who understand this bill is the very definition of “cancel culture,” and an evil attempt to keep our students and state employees from talking about the WHOLE truth in our nation’s history, will steer clear.
— Youngstown Vindicator, May 27