LJ Cunningham

Ohio House Bill 83 Endangers Education

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the very core of the counseling profession, and Ohio House Bill 83 endangers that.

Post Published: April 17, 2023

Ohio House Bill 83 attempts to ban diversity and inclusion, which directly impacts Counseling Education core requirements to become a licensed, ethical, counselor. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the very core of the counseling profession, and this bill endangers that.

5 core values for mental health & counseling professionals: 

1.  Enhancing human development throughout the life span;
2. Honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and
uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts;
3. Promoting social justice;
4. Safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship; and
5. Practicing in a competent and ethical manner.

Opponent testimony is now being accepted against this bill until 4/18/2023 at this link.

  • Image is an info graphic with white background. Words across the top read: Ohio Senate Bill 83 The Education Destruction Act. A thin blue banner beneath has white letters in it. It reads: BAD for students. BAD for higher education. BAD for Ohio. Bullet points in two columns highlight to the left: What Does Senate Bill Do? It lists Prohibitions and Threats as: bans DEI; bans clubs based on race, sex, gender, sexuality; bans public statements on controversial topics; bans academic relationships with China; bans strikes of students and employees. The right column is labeled: Harm and Impact. Beneath that is listed: attacks academic freedom, tenure, students' freedom to learn; weaponizes "intellectual diversity", dismisses race, culture, identity; attacks workers' rights; leaves students unprepared
    SB 83 infographic from Honesty for Ohio Education
  • Image is a screenshot from IG @honesty4ohioed. Slide reads: what are Ohio's colleges and universities saying about SB 83? senate bill 83 would allow government censorship of academic topics in a way that pushes boundaries in how great a role the government can play in education. It affects not only specific sections of many classes, but threatens entire departments, such as African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. The world is much more complex than one-sided history. To adequately equip college students for the realities of the world they are about to step into, they must understand how it all came to be." Ohio University Post

How House Bill 83 Endangers Counseling Education

Ohio House Bill 83 specifically bans “controversial” subjects defined as

any belief or policy that is the subject of political controversy, including issues such as climate change, electoral politics, foreign policy, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, immigration policy, marriage, or abortion.”

How can an undergraduate or graduate degreed program in social work or counseling possibly be ethical and avoid discussing relevant topics that impact various populations? Current events like immigration, foreign policy, and electoral politics – to name a few – can have direct and lasting effects on individual mental health.

Jerry Cirino, the Republican who introduced the bill also wants to dictate topics in higher education. Ohio House Bill 83 also aims to prohibit individuals in higher education from making public statements in support of political and social matters. This is attempt to bar free speech is an obvious legislative overreach. It’s unacceptable, and we have to meet this bill with swift and severe pushback.

Reach out to your State Representative and tell them that Ohio House Bill 83 must be stopped.

Every organization, individual, and professional who believes in access to ethical mental healthcare and education needs to step up. We must unite in consistent messaging: we stand solidly with education and treatment that is ethical, evidence-based, and factual. Full stop.

How To Stop House Bill 83 From Destroying Mental Health Education

  2. Sign and share this petition, which goes directly to all those listed here telling them to take action NOW!
  3. Contact American Counseling Association’s (ACA)’s and remind them their key focus in advocacy must condemn bigoted and racist attempts to control our practice and educational standards.
  4. Contact CACREP and press them on their duty to address legislation in states which make meeting standards impossible.
  5. Contact The Ohio Counseling Association (OCA) and urge them to prioritize and actively advocate for ethical standards across the spectrum of one’s career.
  6. Mental health practitioners and Counselor Educators must reach out to their State Representatives and tell them that Ohio House Bill 83 is unacceptable and movement forward must stop
  7. Follow Honesty for Ohio Education for actionable updates.
  8. If you are in therapy and feel comfortable advocating with your therapist about this bill, do so.



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