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HomeEducationPEN America lists six "dangerous" bills for higher ed

PEN America lists six “dangerous” bills for higher ed


PEN America released a list of state bills that the free speech organization considers “dangerous” for higher education because they attempt to limit speech and other forms of expression on college campuses.

The six bills range in state of origin, area of focus and scope of influence. And one, proposed in Utah, has already become law.

“It has been a tumultuous few months for higher ed,” a PEN America press release said. “Lawmakers across the country are doubling down on their yearslong campaign to destabilize academia, censor college classrooms, and wear down the safeguards that help protect academic freedom.”

The bills listed include:

  • SB 1372, Florida: The so-called Stop WOKE Act would prohibit certain concepts, including systemic racism and identity politics, from being incorporated in teacher education curriculum at public and private universities.
  • HB 465, Florida: It would deprive any student who “promotes” a federally recognized foreign terrorist organization of state financial aid.
  • HB 261, Utah: The new law bans diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in public colleges and universities, including mandatory DEI trainings.
  • HF 2077, Iowa: It would require public institutions to deny recognition to any student group for “promotion” of the concept of terrorism itself.
  • SB 191, Indiana: It would require universities to post course materials online, to allow for assessment of “the extent to which a divisive concept may have been included.”
  • SB 1305, Oklahoma: It would prohibit college and university students from being required to take any class that teaches about “whiteness, gender identity, implicit bias, intersectionality, cultural competence, critical theory, systemic racism, allyship, race- or gender-based diversity, equity, or inclusion, microaggressions, or social justice.”

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