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Bill would ensure patriotic groups can appear in Ohio schools

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(The Center Square) – Two Ohio lawmakers want to make sure state schools follow federal law and allow groups like the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts to be present during the school year.

Proposed legislation in the House of Representatives requires schools to allow U.S. Title 36, which permits patriotic organizations to provide information to students. Those organizations could be the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Civil Air Patrol, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and many other groups.

The law also allows for patriotic and national observances and ceremonies.

Schools receiving Title I funds are required to follow Title 36, and according to the Ohio Department of Education, all state schools receive Title I funds.

Reps. Roy Klopfenstein, R-Haviland, and Sean Patrick, D-Parma, want to ensure the groups will continue being allowed in schools.

“These groups play a vital role in imparting civic and moral values, fostering robust leadership skills, and promoting personal development among our youth,” Klopfenstein said.

The bill would allow the approved organizations to present information about what they do at least every academic year. The schools, however, can determine when, where and how the presentations can be held.

The organizations would have to undergo and pay for a background check similar to the ones used for teachers.

“Teachers and administrators are bombarded with groups and individuals who want an audience with our students,” Brennan said. “Our bill will assist our schools by requiring proper vetting of those requesting to present to students and, at the end of the day, will benefit our young learners by giving them access to quality opportunities.”

Indiana recently passed a similar law, also with bipartisan support.

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