“The government is forcing professors to teach and preach a politicized viewpoint they do not share, imposing incomprehensible guidelines, and threatening to punish professors when they cross an arbitrary, indiscernible line.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) has filed a lawsuit against the state of California on behalf of half a dozen professors over a policy that requires the teaching of ‘anti-racist’ DEI concepts.
The bad news for California is that FIRE has a damn good victory record in matters like this.
From the FIRE Newsdesk:
LAWSUIT: FIRE sues to stop California from forcing professors to teach DEI
Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression filed a lawsuit on behalf of six California community college professors to halt new, systemwide regulations forcing professors to espouse and teach politicized conceptions of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Each of the professors teach at one of three Fresno-area community colleges within the State Center Community College District. Under the new regulations, all of the more-than-54,000 professors who teach in the California Community Colleges system must incorporate “anti-racist” viewpoints into classroom teaching.
The regulations explicitly require professors to pledge allegiance to contested ideological viewpoints. Professors must “acknowledge” that “cultural and social identities are diverse, fluid, and intersectional,” and they must develop “knowledge of the intersectionality of social identities and the multiple axes of oppression that people from different racial, ethnic, and other minoritized groups face.” Faculty performance and tenure will be evaluated based on professors’ commitment to and promotion of the government’s viewpoints.
“I’m a professor of chemistry. How am I supposed to incorporate DEI into my classroom instruction?” asked Reedley College professor Bill Blanken. “What’s the ‘anti-racist’ perspective on the atomic mass of boron?”
“These regulations are a totalitarian triple-whammy,” said FIRE attorney Daniel Ortner. “The government is forcing professors to teach and preach a politicized viewpoint they do not share, imposing incomprehensible guidelines, and threatening to punish professors when they cross an arbitrary, indiscernible line.”
FIRE sent a warning shot across California’s bow when these policies were introduced in 2022:
Dear Regulations Coordinator:
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses—submits the following public comment concerning the Proposed Regulatory Action Amending Title 5, of the California Code of Regulations, to Include Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Standards in the Evaluation and Tenure Review of District Employees.
The proposed revisions to regulations governing faculty evaluation and tenure review would violate the First Amendment rights of California Community Colleges (CCC) faculty by compelling them to endorse specific views related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). The Board of Governors cannot require colleges in the CCC system to penalize faculty members based on their refusal to endorse particular ideological views or to incorporate those views into their academic work.
Compelled speech is as much a violation of free speech as censorship.
FIRE is on the right side of freedom here.DONATE
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