Republican lawmakers in Ohio are responding to the case of a Loudoun County Public School District teacher who was suspended after expressing that his religious convictions forbade him from referring to transgender children by pronouns that don’t refer to their biological sex.
The effort to protect teachers’ rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion is being demonized by the media, including David Brock’s left-wing website, the American Independent, which reports that the Ohio Republicans were taking “discriminatory stances on transgender issues in the classroom.”
The Ohio bill, H.B. 322, which was introduced last month, says teachers should not be required by state agencies or school administration to “affirm a belief in … the multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities, or like ideas” if it conflicts with their personal or religious beliefs.
”No teacher shall be required by a policy of any state agency, school district, or school administration to affirm a belief in the systemic nature of racism, or like ideas, or in the multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities, or like ideas, against the teacher’s sincerely held religious or philosophical convictions,” the bill reads. “If a student completes a course that includes any of the concepts described in [the bill], that course shall not count towards the requirements for high school graduation.”
The American Independent’s report used sources such as the Human Rights Campaign and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center to make the case for transgender rights and to criticize the conservative groups that are helping Virginia teacher Tanner Cross, including the Heritage Foundation, the Family Policy Alliance, and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The American Independent reported that state lawmakers have introduced more than 250 bills to protect children from life-altering medical treatment and female athletes from unfair competition from transgender women:
In some cases those groups have jumped in to defend teachers themselves. Tanner Cross, a Virginia elementary school teacher, decided to sue the Loudon County Public School District in early June after he was placed on leave for refusing to use the correct pronouns and names for transgender students, citing his religious beliefs as a Christian.
On Tuesday, a Loudon County Circuit Court judge said school administrators had violated Cross’s free speech and religious freedom rights, mandating that the school district reinstate him to his role as a physical education teacher.
Michael Farris, president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, issued a statement after that ruling, saying, “Educators are just like everybody else—they have ideas and opinions that they should be free to express. Advocating for solutions they believe in should not cost them their jobs.”
The American Independent claims Republicans believe this issue and pushing back on Critical Race Theory being taught in the schools will help the GOP in the 2022 mid-term election.
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