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Group Protests "Divisive Concepts" In Classrooms, But Others Support Teaching Lessons On Racism

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Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A protestor at the event against "critical race theory" confronts a counterprotestor by reaching for her umbrella, and later tries to grab her phone. About 50 protestors were at the morning event at the Ohio Department of Education, as the state Board of Education held the second day of their monthly two-day meeting inside.

The group claiming to be against "critical race theory" wasn't the only one to show up.

People opposed to the teaching of what they call “critical race theory” showed up outside the state Board of Education meeting in Columbus this morning.

But there were others there who are concerned about what Ohio students are not learning about race and public policy.

A counterprotestor shouting "racists go home" crashed the event in the pouring rain outside the Ohio Department of Education, as the state board met inside.

The crowd of about 50 demonstrators had been organized online, with several traveling from southwest Ohio to the event in downtown Columbus. They cheered on speakers including people running for local school boards and Republican US Senate candidate Josh Mandel. He and the other GOP candidates running to replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman have taken up the issue as part of their campaigns.

Republicans nationwide have been talking up opposition to teaching about divisive issues and what they call critical race theory, a graduate school concept not taught in K-12 schools in Ohio. But there are still two bills that would ban the teaching of "critical race theory" and divisive concepts in Ohio public schools.

But at the other entrance to the ODE building, another group held a “read-in” featuring books by Black authors and did a Facebook live event, chanting "honest education now" and "teach truth not lies".

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These demonstrators, many educators, said they want more teaching about race in public policy and throughout history that kids shouldn’t have to wait till grad school to learn about it.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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