Yellow Springs High School
Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine told Yellow Springs High School students to be independent thinkers at an assembly on Wednesday. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told Yellow Springs High School students to be independent thinkers at an assembly on Wednesday. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

DeWine speaks at YSHS

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine returned Wednesday to his alma mater, Yellow Springs High School, and shared with students his opinions on gay marriage, abortion, gun control, politics in Washington and President Obama.

A 1965 grad of YSHS, DeWine was a Greene County prosecutor, state senator, U.S. representative, Ohio lieutenant governor and U.S. senator prior to being elected Ohio Attorney General last year.

DeWine told students that while he wasn’t a particularly good student at YSHS, he did well in government and American history classes and learned debating skills by sparring with his classmates over political issues.

“I was certainly in the minority growing up here,” DeWine said of his conservative views. On typically losing Yellow Springs in statewide elections by a margin of 7 or 8 to 1: “Being the native son only goes so far in Yellow Springs,” he said.

Students were curious about DeWine’s most difficult votes as a senator (national security decisions, he responded), why the political climate in Washington is so polarized (a reflection of the culture, he said) and what he thinks of Pres. Obama (his healthcare bill is unconstitutional, DeWine responded).

DeWine’s view that gay Americans should not be allowed to marry was questioned by several students, some of whom spoke up about having gay parents or being gay.

“I moved here because I’ve been harassed because my mom is gay,” said YSHS student Elizabeth Hock.

DeWine responded by saying that while the culture is changing and it is no longer acceptable to discriminate against gay people, that gay marriage remains controversial.

“I think gay individuals should have equal rights but I’m not in favor of gay marriage,” DeWine said.

DeWine also challenged students to be independent thinkers and to think for themselves, like he did throughout much of his political career, he said.

A longer article will appear in the May 31 issue of the News.

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3 Responses to “DeWine speaks at YSHS”

  1. Kori Lewis says:

    While I disagree with Mr. Dewine’s stance on gay marriage, I give him credit for being willing to come into a situation that he knew would be rather hostile. I think it is important for the kids to learn that just because someone has an opposing view that doesn’t mean they are evil, and unfortunately that is the political environment right now. I want these kids to be excited and interested in politics; and to know that it is their responsibility to be informed and to ask questions. I was at the Dewine event at the high school. A lot of kids were able to ask him questions, and even after time was up he stuck around to talk to many students who were unable to ask their questions due to time constraints. Just the fact that students wanted ask questions and have their opinions on policy matters was enough for me to want to schedule more of these events.

  2. Dan Plecha says:

    Gays may marry just like the rest of us; and that (not redefining what marriage is) is the very essence of equality.

  3. John Sturm says:

    “I think gay individuals should have equal rights but I’m not in favor of gay marriage,” Dewine said.

    Wow, teaching them how to contradict themselves in a single sentence. A valuable lesson for sure. Thanks Mike!

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