Find Us!
  • The Ohio School PsychologistsAssociation

    The Ohio School Psychologists
    Association

    "Putting Pieces Together For Ohio Students"
  • 1

Statement on HB 616

Statement to Oppose House Bill 616

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Ohio School Psychologists Association

April 2022

The Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA) expresses its strong opposition to Ohio House Bill 616 as well as its legislative attempts to delimit the discussion of human sexuality concepts in public schools. The purpose of House Bill 616 is to ensure that children and teens will not have exposure to sexual or gender content matter in the educational arena and instead that such instruction will come exclusively through their families. Currently, across the United States, children and adolescents have open access to human sexuality information, misinformation, and explicit materials throughout their daily lives far beyond school environments. Young people access these concepts through social media, the internet, printed materials, movies, music, peer/adult interactions, and overheard conversations. Gender diversity equally occurs through all the same sources as students encounter gender stereotypes, gender expression, and family expectations of gender. Even experiencing traditional, heterosexual family systems and cisgender individuals are still statements about gender and sexuality themselves.

House Bill 616 would prohibit the discussion of human sexuality concepts in K-12 education, which may lead to many unintended and potentially harmful consequences, regardless of one’s political identification. Even if these discussions become prohibited, these discussions will continue to take place and students will have exposure to such content. The influence educators and other adults can have is through the provision of unbiased, scientifically based information, shared in developmentally appropriate language, and engaging with children and teens through supportive and honest discussions about sexuality concepts. Students should be empowered to think critically and thoroughly about society, all while engaged in conversations that honor all learners' unique background and identity. To have these crucial conversations, where students are primed to unlock higher levels of thinking, analysis and overall learning, it is imperative for students to interact and communicate in spaces in which they feel acknowledged and safe.

This bill would also prohibit educators from receiving credit for any continuing education on topics of diversity, which would greatly harm students, educators, the public school system, and the future for Ohio. Educators need to be equipped with the proper research-based information to create an inclusive environment that promotes the wellbeing of all students, inclusive of those who are gender or sexually diverse. Many students do not have equal access to comprehensive information about potentially divisive sexuality concepts within their homes and often depend on competent educators with training and expertise in science and human relationships to serve as sources of information. Such efforts support and provide honest, factual responses to their questions without bias or agenda. These instructional efforts have significant public health benefits, including delaying early sexual activities, reducing unwanted pregnancies, mitigating sexual abuse, advancing physical and behavioral health selfcare, and ultimately saving lives by affirming the dignity of every learner.

 

Important News

Hey Interns! Your Next Membership is FREE

Hey Interns! Your Next Membership is FREE

OSPA is excited to announce that thanks to grant funding from the Ohio Read More

Statement on HB 616

Statement to Oppose House Bill 616 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion CommitteeOhio School Psychologists Read More

Wanted: 2022 Poster Session Submissions

The OSPA Spring Conference Committee is soliciting individuals or teams interested in presenting Read More
School Psychology Awareness Week 2021

School Psychology Awareness Week 2021

"Let's Get in Gear" November 8-12, 20121 During the week of November 8–12, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24

Featured Resources

Presidential Message: Spring 2022

Presidential Message: Spring 2022

Dear OSPA Members and Friends of OSPA, We are all well aware that Read More

What School Psychologists Should Know About Arming Teachers

Over the past 20 years, school shootings have become more prevalent in the Read More
Legislative Lowdown: ODE Funds OSPA Early Career Memberships

Legislative Lowdown: ODE Funds OSPA Early Career Memberships

Attention all interns! OSPA is excited to announce that thanks to grant funding Read More
NASP Delegate Update: Spring 2022

NASP Delegate Update: Spring 2022

The NASP elections have concluded. Andrea Clyne was elected to be President-Elect. Her Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18