This is making the rounds of the blogsphere and since I'm from Ohio I thought I would comment here. The Daily Kos website (see sidebar link to the right) has a good stream going on this subject.
It seems that some Republican in the Ohio State Senate have introduced a bill (SB 24) called the "Academic Bill of Rights for Higher Education." Like many pieces of conservative legislation you can tell what it does by assuming the opposite of its title (like the "Freedom to Work" legislation that restricts workers' ability to unionize etc). Check out the legislation...its positively Orwellian!
(B) "Students shall be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study and shall not be discriminated against on the basis of their political, ideological, or religious beliefs. Faculty and instructors shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or antireligious inndocrtination."
(C) "Faculty and instructors shall not infringe the academic freedom and quality of education of their students by persistently introducing controversial matter into the classroom or coursework that has no relations to their subject of study and that serves no legitimate pedagogical purpose."
(F) "Faculty and instructors shall be free to pursue and discuss their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, but they shall make their students aware of serious scholarly viewpoints other than their own through classroom discussion or dissemination of written materials, and they shall encourage intellectual honesty, civil debate, and the critical analysis of ideas in the persuit of knowledge and truth."
This is positively a direct attack on free speach. The language is designed to sound like its protective of individual rights but think about how these prospcriptions will be interpreted? Is it obvious what any of this actually permits or forbids?
Could LTG look into this type of law and let us know if anything like this has been struck down by the Federal courts in the past? Are there similar laws already on the books in other states?
The sponsors of this bill are Republicans from small towns in Ohio. The language in the bill hints strongly at the persecution complex of the Christian Right.
How might one arrange a compromise with the sponsors of this bill? I would say compromise on this type of issue is imposible. However, it does underscore the potential for cooperation between progressives and libertarians that Dr. Strangelove and myself have suggested.
If this isn't another bit of evidence that the Republican Party, and especially the Christian conservative movement which dominates that party, has gone completely mad with power I don't know what is.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 4:08 PM