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Ohio School Board Candidate Talks Culture Wars

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the second edition of News 5’s State School Board series, District 10 candidates discuss controversial topics.

The first edition focused on funding and school selection. Click or tap here to read.

Click or tap here to learn why the school board race is worth watching.

Who is in District 10

The 10th District is made up of the 21st, 27th and 28th Senate Districts. This includes the eastern side of Cuyahoga County, parts of Geouga County, and all of Summit and Portage Counties.

To find out if you’re in District 10: The Sec. State website has a handy tool called “Find my District.”

Enter your address when you arrive. A pop-up will appear showing your house, Senate, Congress, and school district numbers.

If you’re listed as District 10, you can learn more about the candidates you’re voting for below.


All candidates are elected non-partisan, but always with political leanings.

Tim Miller is an Akron-based incumbent. He was appointed by Governor Mike DeWine to complete his last two years of a four-year term. He is a former Akron School officer. He also tends to be conservative.

Tom Jackson is from Solon, one of Cleveland’s eastern suburbs. He has a degree in Education and is on the Strategic Planning Team at Solon City Schools. He leans progressively.

Cierra Lynch Shehorn is a consultant for Summit County. She owns her own company and has been involved in her PR and media relations. she is conservative

culture war

The battle over what students should be taught in schools rages not only in the Ohio legislature, but also at the local level.

Parents have been expressing concerns on their respective sides for about two years now, but the debate is heating up as the election approaches.

Dozens of families, students and educators reached out to News 5 and asked the team to speak with candidates for the state school board about the “culture wars.”

Democratic-leaning candidate Tom Jackson wants to protect educators from problems he says undermine their true mission of teaching students.

“What we have is mostly fake attacks and efforts to solve problems that don’t exist,” Jackson said. “And it’s driven by the state legislature.”

More than 100 schools across the state have been asked to ban books, stop discussing race, sexuality and gender, and teach atrocities such as the Holocaust “from both sides.”

House Bill 616 states that school districts, community schools, STEM schools, nonpublic schools that enroll students in state scholarship programs, or employees or other third parties representing school districts or You can’t “teach” what brings Or an inherently racist concept. This includes all of Critical Race Theory, Intersection Theory, The 1619 Project, Learning Outcomes of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and “Inherited Racial Guilt.”

The next section of the bill touches on sexuality and gender identity.

RELATED: Lawmakers hear Ohio’s version of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

The bill was created after News 5 aired an exclusive report on comments made by HB 327, one of the main sponsors of the original “dividing concept” bill. News 5 reporter Morgan Trau in early March.

RELATED: Holocaust comments from representatives supporting ‘divisive notions’ bill raise concerns

During the interview, Fowler Arthur was asked about the financial aspects of the bill. While trying to talk about her funding, she brought up the Holocaust and said her students needed to hear the massacre from the perspective of a “German soldier.”

After a News 5 exclusive article on sponsors’ comments on House Bill 327 on the Holocaust circulated internationally, the original split concept bill was renamed “Two Sides Bill” or “Two Sides of the Holocaust Bill.”

Legislators say this is to “provide transparency for parents” and “protect against indoctrination.”

“It would be a disgrace to the state if a bill that said we had to teach all aspects of the Holocaust went to committee hearings in the state,” Jackson added. “There is no room for this.”

Conservative Sierra Lynch Shehorn did not mention specific legislation, but said he believed in parental rights and that schools should be able to do what they want.

“It’s tied to transparency and local control,” she said.

When pressed about how to handle states enforcing regulations on how subjects such as the Holocaust and gender should be taught in local schools, she said her role was only to “fulfill the objectives given by the General Assembly.” said that

She’s far more concerned with making sure the school board works than dealing with controversial topics.

Conservative incumbent Tim Miller, like the other two candidates, said he believes in local control, but differs from Lynch Shehorn in his outright condemnation of censorship. .

“As for banning books or anything of that nature, I’m not in favor of it,” he said. “You certainly have to be aware of age appropriateness.”

Miller opposes book bans, especially when it comes to high-level and college courses, which tend to be more mundane.

“Some people don’t like some of the material there, but those are college-level classes,” Miller said. If you get a degree, it’s part of a four-year degree.”

Despite her support for exposure to difficult topics, Miller was one of the school board members to repeal the 2020 anti-racism resolution.

The resolution condemned racism, aimed at equal opportunities for students of color, and encouraged diversity training.

When asked about his vote, the incumbent said he “still supports” it. He said he voted to remove it.

“After that resolution was passed, the state required training on diversity, equity and inclusion for all state employees,” he said. “So that part of Resolution 20 was no longer needed.”

He said he got a lot of “fight back” in voting in Akron.

The board eventually voted to replace him, he said. The point of the new resolution is that the board condemns any teaching that “calls for division.”

“I am here to help all children, regardless of race, color, creed, orientation, or nature.

Lynch Shehorn likely voted the same way Miller did.

“I’m not a big fan of resolutions,” she said. “I think legislation should be left to legislators.”

News 5 repeatedly asked Lynch Shehorn about her response to certain bills and how she considered discussions about race in class, but she did not respond. He claimed that he was only there to serve the General Assembly.

Jackson was adamantly opposed to this logic, saying it was ridiculous that denouncing racism had become a political battle.

“As for what you call anti-racism resolutions, I’ll leave it up to the viewer,” he said.

Repeal of the anti-racism resolution says a lot about the members who voted for it, the Democratic-leaning candidate said.

During the pandemic, teachers already had a lot to deal with, but now they have to deal with laws introduced or signed into law that the vast majority of educators are against. It’s up to the school board to help them, he said.

“Attack [teachers] It only penalizes the very children we support and lift for political or cultural reasons,” Jackson added.


Want to stay up to date on candidate positions? News 5 is here to help. We’ve created a guide for the 2022 midterm elections. This is updated daily based on candidate changes.

Follow WEWS State Capitol Correspondent Morgan Trau. twitter and Facebook.