Free speech advocacy group Speech First partnered with public policy think tank Goldwater Institute to introduce proposed legislation to counter Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in college classrooms, the groups announced Monday.
The proposed legislation, called the Freedom From Indoctrination Act, prohibits the “mandatory infusion” of DEI into college courses and requirements that college students take courses that focus on DEI or Critical Race Theory. It also ensures bachelor programs provide education about the “constitutional republic,” prohibits mandatory DEI or CRT programming at college orientations and ensures orientations “affirm the principles of free speech.” (RELATED: Stanford Student Claims Freshmen Are Taught About Diversity, Equity And Inclusion, But Not Free Speech)
“We are very happy to partner with the Goldwater Institute again to develop model legislation that will accomplish and ensure students won’t be subjugated to the political aims of the DEI regime currently ruling our college campuses nationwide,” Cherise Trump, Speech First executive director, said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “University campuses should be places of higher learning, academic exploration, debate and civil discourse. Not centers of woke dogma that trains activists who feel justified using violence and destruction to reach their political aims.”
🚨BREAKING: We’re partnering with @GoldwaterInst to introduce model legislation to combat leftist indoctrination on college campuses.
— Speech First (@Speech_First) April 3, 2023
The proposed legislation specifies that students cannot be mandated to enroll in DEI or CRT-related courses, but that nothing in the text should be interpreted to “limit the academic freedom of any individual university or community college faculty to direct the instruction within his or her own class, nor limit the free discussion of ideas in a classroom setting.” It would require colleges and universities to offer an American institution graduation requirement that teaches students about “the basic principles of American constitutional democracy and how they are applied under a republican form of government.”
“This model policy will free students and faculty from radical DEI programming at the college level,” Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg told the DCNF. “Dozens of states have already introduced Goldwater-backed legislation to defund DEI offices on college campuses, but lawmakers who are serious about stopping DEI’s takeover of higher education must also address its tentacles in the classroom.”
The legislation also dedicates a section on how freshmen orientations should be conducted, including training on free speech and viewpoint diversity. DEI or CRT-related content can be promoted so long as students have other sessions available featuring alternative topics.
“State-operated colleges and universities should not be acting as gatekeepers who force students into taking politically radical DEI courses as a condition of graduating or getting a degree in unrelated fields,” Beienburg said. “This model legislation will swiftly eliminate all course requirements and informal tactics currently used to push students into taking DEI-saturated coursework. This policy protects the academic freedom of both students and faculty from DEI-driven interference and will help restore the intellectual integrity of higher education.”
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