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Controversial Board of Education vote on Title IX changes

A resolution was presented to the Ohio Board of Education today regarding opposition of federal Title IX changes.

A proposal in the Ohio Board of Education has some concerned about discrimination in schools.

In June, President Joe Biden announced new Title IX changes that would include protections for the LGBTQ community to be not discriminated against for sexual orientation or representation.

A resolution presented to the board of education today would oppose those changes.

One by one, teachers, parents, counselors and more came up to address the board, concerned about a proposal the Ohio Board of Education will vote on.

"Our schools should be a safe space for all children regardless of their orientation or presentation," one person said. 

"LGBTQ students are not the main threat that the resolution says they are. They are, and I cannot stress this enough, children," said another who said they are a counselor.

The proposal claims sex is not "assigned" and is an unchangeable fact.

If it's passed, it would back the lawsuit Attorney General David Yost and other attorneys general have filed against the federal rule. The amendment introduced by the president could impact federal funding schools receive, including lunch funding.

During the board meeting, the sponsor, Brendan Shea, said the resolution for the board is standing up to "bullies" that are threatening to take lunch money from schools if they don't comply.

Also, a letter would go out to schools that receive federal funding, urging districts to defy federal policies.

It would also require educators to notify parents if their child requests to be called a different pronoun or name.

"Students generally know which teachers are inclusive or not and they can approach them and we're eliminating that option for that legally, they won't understand, they will say what they want to a teacher and then be ousted by it," Joseph Wood, the Secretary for Equality Toledo, said.

Wood also said it could do more harm than good for students and wants the board to take in community input.

Shea says females will lose protections from males in bathrooms and are concerned about males having access to bathrooms and locker rooms meant for girls.

He added that girls will lose the opportunity for scholarships and other athletic opportunities due to boys having the ability to compete against them.

"I'm not laying this at the feet of young people, who trans identify," Shea said. "I'm laying this at the feet of big people, adults that are imposing these policies and regulations...and yes contributing to the recruitment and grooming of a movement that's sweeping our youth and nation by storm." 

The amendment will likely be voted on in the school board meeting next month.

WTOL-11 reached out to Brendan Shea directly for comment, but he was in the board meeting for several hours. If he does respond to our request to comment, we will include it here.

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