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.
Iowa has joined the growing list of states where the legislature has introduced a bill mandating what can and cannot be taught in its public schools, in clear opposition to the First Amendment.
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.