COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school district’s ban on “anti-racism” instruction is itself racist and an unconstitutional free speech prohibition, according to a federal lawsuit seeking to have the ban overturned.
At issue is a resolution to create “a culture of kindness” narrowly approved last week by the Forest Hills school board in suburban Cincinnati. The resolution prohibits “anti-racism” curriculum, education and training and also bans the academic theory known as critical race theory.
The district includes Anderson and Turpin High Schools and seven other schools.
Students are banned from classes or assignments that require them to consider their race, socioeconomic class, gender identity or other characteristics as “a deficiency or a label” to stereotype students as having certain biases or prejudices, under the resolution.
By prohibiting education, curriculum, and training regarding “anti-racism,” the resolution “instead promotes racism by its very definition,” according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday by parents and teachers against Forest Hill school board members and the district. A message was left with the district seeking comment.
Legislation pending in the General Assembly would ban schools statewide from requiring or compelling Ohio teachers to affirm a belief in the systemic nature of racism or “the multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities.”