The State Board of Education has adopted a model anti-bullying policy that does not specifically target students' religion or sexual orientation.
A majority of board members believed referencing ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation would be repetitive and unnecessary. But those who wanted to keep the specific references said the vote boiled down to sensitivity over homosexuality.
The 19-member board yesterday rejected a proposal to keep the contentious language by a vote of 11-to-8.
It then approved the policy by a 17-to-2 vote.
The Ohio Legislature directed the board to create the model policy to help local school districts create their own guidelines.