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Richardson's Legislation Heading to Governor's Desk

May 10, 2024
Tracy M. Richardson News

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COLUMBUS – State Representative Tracy Richardson’s (R-Marysville) legislation to expand eligibility for earning a Military Seal upon high school graduation is heading to the governor’s office to receive his signature. 

The legislation will honor high school graduates entering a university ROTC program or a military service academy with a Military Seal on their high school diploma. It will also require school districts to create a policy that reduces cell phone related distractions in classroom settings.  

Current law only recognizes students that have enlisted into the Armed Forces or participated in JROTC as eligible to receive the seal. Richardson’s legislation will provide parity for all high school students that have demonstrated a willingness to serve. 

“Students receiving appointments to Military Service Academies or ROTC scholarships have demonstrated the same readiness and preparedness for their futures as those students enlisting,” said Richardson. “This legislation recognizes all Ohio high school graduates entering the U.S. Armed Forces and celebrates their commitment to our beloved nation.”

The legislation, unanimously supported by the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives, was concurred upon Wednesday. The amended bill requires local school districts to consider the impact of distractions on learning and to create a policy minimizing cell phone use during the school day. Each school district is required to create their own policy, thus ensuring local control. The bill also directs the Department of Education and Workforce to create a model policy that schools may but are not required to consider.