(VitalNews.org) – Ohio Republicans introduced the Ohio Higher Education Act on March 15, taking aim at a host of “woke” and diversity-related practices in the state’s college system.
The bill would put an end to what are called Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training requirements in state colleges and universities. Proponents characterize DEI initiatives as politically neutral attempts to combat racism, misogyny, or transphobia. On the other hand, opponents claim these are highly partisan doctrines embraced by leftist activists.
The DEI fervor has overtaken American colleges and universities, corporate boardrooms, and the nonprofit sector. Employees in these organizations have been reluctant to speak against them in recent years for fear of being branded racist or bigoted and subject to social “cancellation” or being fired from their jobs.
But the issue appears to be coming to a head. More people are speaking out, and many claim that the DEI initiatives are themselves racist and bigoted. Though Americans will rarely express this view publicly for fear of censure, those objecting to DEI are now beginning to state publicly that the initiatives seem to be racist against white Americans.
If the Ohio bill passes, state colleges and universities would no longer be allowed to require staff or students to take any DEI training. The bill would also ban colleges from imposing “political or ideological litmus tests” when making hiring or admissions decisions.
The bill would also require state colleges to discuss the concepts of free speech (guaranteed to Americans under the Constitution) in their mission statements.
The Ohio Higher Education Act would not just ban these practices; it further mandates more rigorous evaluation for professors seeking tenure. Tenure hopefuls would have to prove they teach students without enacting “political, racial, gender, and religious bias.”
Sponsor Jerry Cirino, a Republican state Senator from Kirtland, called the bill a course correction. He said higher education needed to return to its longstanding mission of promoting actual diversity of thought instead of pushing for “social change.”
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