Ohio lawmakers warring with librarians, teachers and drag queen
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Ohio lawmakers warring with librarians, teachers and drag queen

"Looking for Alaska" by John Green; "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult; "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker and "Sold" by Patricia McCormick were among the most banned books in Iowa under the Senate File 496 education law, a 2023 law bans most books depicting sex acts from Iowa schools. Ohio lawmakers are considering criminalizing lawmakers that make so-called obscene materials available to children.

As Gov. Mike DeWine pushes the “science of reading” — a method that teaches kids to break words down into their phonemes or sounds — some Republican legislators are stoking unfounded public fears of progressive boogeymen who use books to implant deviant and subversive thoughts in the minds of students at all levels of education.

The disingenuous campaign is dangerous and comes at a critical time in the state’s history.

As illustrated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2024 Kids Count Data Book, Ohio like much of post-pandemic America has major issues to tackle when it comes to education.

The annual national and state-level study on the well-being of children and families found that the number of Ohio eighth-grade students not proficient in math rose to 71% in 2022 from 62% in 2019. The percentage of Ohio fourth graders not proficient in reading also increased to 65% from 64% during that time period.