A professor at a public university in Michigan was suspended with pay after posting a profanity-laced video to his incoming students. Professor Barry Mehler, a history professor at Ferris State University, posted the 14-minute long video that begins with him wearing an astronaut helmet over a face mask, and tells his students they are “vectors of disease,” and that “it is dangerous to breathe the air.”
The ACLU and other civil rights organizations are suing the state of Oklahoma over a law that prohibits certain types of instruction around race and gender. Filed on October 19th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the suit alleges that the law violates students’ and educators’ First and 14th Amendment rights.
Wisconsin became the latest state to introduce legislation aimed at preventing public schools from teaching “divisive” concepts around race and gender. On September 28th, the Wisconsin state assembly passed a Republican-backed bill to prevent “critical race theory” from being taught in the state’s public schools.
The university claims that the policy is necessary to comply with the state's anti-CRT law. But, Adam Steinbaugh, director of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education’s Individual Rights Defense Program, says the school's policy goes further than the lawmakers intended and violates the First Amendment of faculty and students.
The college canceled the class due to concerns that it might conflict with a new law that prohibits public schools from having certain kinds of conversations about race and gender. Idaho, Rhode Island, Iowa, New Hampshire, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and West Virginia have all introduced similar legislation restricting public schools from teaching "divisive" concepts.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will not approve a tenured position for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, according to a May 19th report from NC Policy Watch.
Recently introduced legislation in Rhode Island and New Hampshire continues the trend of state legislatures taking aim at the teaching of “divisive concepts” about race and gender in higher education. The bills, like their counterparts in other states, are deeply flawed and pose a threat to free speech and academic freedom.