Rep. Nickie Antonio Announces House Passage Of Athletic Parity
Bill would allow PE waivers to include club sports like Rugby

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced Wednesday the passage of House Bill 113, the Lakewood lawmaker’s legislation to allow schools to offer a waiver from Physical Education to students who participate in a school sponsored club sport. The bill passed out of the House 82-9. 

“Allowing school sponsored club sports to fall under the definition of interscholastic athletics will provide schools and students the opportunity to focus on core classes, electives, and advanced placement courses to better prepare them for college and or career,” said Rep. Antonio.

This bill was inspired by the Lakewood Girls Rugby team who advocated for its passage and brought the issue to Rep. Antonio in 2011 after discovering that the remedy was in the hands of the Ohio Legislature.

Excused students must also complete an additional 0.5 credits, of instruction in another course of study to meet the requirements for graduation. Currently, waivers are eligible to students who participate in interscholastic athletics, marching band, cheerleading-- for at least two full seasons --and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps for at least two full years. 

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The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.