‘The truth needs to be told’: Rally gathers in Youngstown in response to new bill

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – About 30 people gathered Saturday on Belmont Avenue for a “Teach the Truth” rally.

The Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past hosted a rally Saturday in response to House Bill 322, a bill that centers around how racism would be taught in schools.

There were various speakers, and they had one main goal: Teaching the truth.

“My group is out here today because we believe that the truth needs to be told. The truth of all people of color,” said Penny Wells, the executive director of the group.

The event started out with student leaders providing history lessons and stories from the past.

Miah Pierce, a recent graduate of Youngstown Rayen Early College, was one of the students that spoke at the rally. She believes it is important for students everywhere to learn Black history.

“We’re trying to have people understand the importance of Black history and the importance of learning it, especially Black students to know their history,” Pierce said.

Recently, First News reached out to all sponsors and co-sponsors of House Bill 322, and Representative Jean Schmidt of Miami Township said the following in a statement:

“The claim of some that this bill is somehow discriminatory is blatantly false. I support this legislation and stand by the bill’s current language. “

Wells believes this bill could try to deny educators the ability to teach students certain moments of history.

“Anything that tries to deny us telling what truly happened in this country is wrong. We need to be very open and clear about who we are and more forward,” Wells said.

House Bill 322 has been introduced to the Ohio House and has not yet been voted on.

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