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People Angry Over Divisive Concepts in Class Protest at State Board of Ed. Meeting, While Others Tried a Different Approach

 A protestor confronts a counterprotestor at "critical race theory" protest
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 had the second day of its monthly two-day meeting inside.

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

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 U.S. 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."

These demonstrators, many educators, said they want more teaching about race in public policy and throughout history and that kids shouldn’t have to wait till grad school to learn about it.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.