Floridas Educational Gag Order: More Extensive And Damaging Than You Realize

Floridas Educational Gag Order: More Extensive And Damaging Than You Realize

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When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) signed House Bill 7 into law, he said the law would guarantee public school students and their parents "the freedom to drift into oppressive ideas without your consent."

The Stop Woke Act prohibits workplace training and classroom education at public schools, colleges, and universities that "advocate, reinforce, promote, teach, or enforce divisive beliefs." The law is among the "educational reform" mandates recently passed by conservative state lawmakers to curb critical race theory (which highlights systemic racism in the United States) and other "criticisms" of race and gender. Identity in American Society and History.

But Florida's arguments go further to protect the Stop Woke Act from multiple legal challenges. In response to questions that the law "violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutionally vague and racially discriminatory," he said state college programs and classrooms are "government discourse" and not "teacher's speech." "There is no right to presume academic freedom," they say, saying that the state of Florida "has chosen only to regulate its speech."

If the Florida argument is upheld by the courts, it poses an existential threat to public schools, which could undermine the commitment of American colleges and universities globally to free and unfettered inquiry. It is far from certain that the courts will not be on Florida's side.

In upholding the constitutionality of law, Florida in 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Garcetti v. The Los Angeles attorney general cited the Ceballos case, which dealt with the right to punish a deputy attorney general for criticizing the actions of his superiors. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that "when civil servants make statements based on their official duties, the First Amendment does not preclude their communications from disciplining the employer."

In his dissent, Justice David Sutter warned that the ruling "could threaten First Amendment protections for academic freedom in public colleges and universities where faculty are required to speak and write in the course of their official duties." The five-judge majority held that "our analysis today is not to determine whether a scholarship or lecture applies equally to a case."

As of 2006, federal courts disagree about the existence of an exception for academic freedom. In a series of decisions, the 4th, 5th, and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals have concluded that Garcetti is not advancing in the academic context of a public university. However, in 2007 Hong v. District Court Judge Grant ruled that the University of California "has unlimited rights when restricting an employee's expression on the job and on the basis of his professional duties." In the year in 2011, the judge judge in Kibar No. “Courts have often found that public university professors’ speech is not protected even when it is conducted in a manner consistent with their professional duties,” Haas said.

As the Stop Walk Act makes its way through the courts, it's important to understand what's at stake.

As Justice Sutter noted, prior to Garcetti, the Supreme Court recognized that universities have a “special place in our constitutional culture” and that academic freedom is “of great value” not only to “the faculty involved” but to “all of us.”

Under the guise of repealing professors' right to academic freedom and banning indoctrination, the Stop Woke Act supports the state-imposed indoctrination of American history. For example, teachers say that government education policies “since the nineteenth century” have often led “to blatantly unequal treatment on the basis of race and family income?” If they indicate, will the teachers be punished or expelled? Or the Florida Penal Code, which prevented unmarried couples of different races from “living normally and sharing a room at night” until the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1964. Or, in 2022, a judge overturned Florida’s ban on mail and return buses because they affected the disproportionate to black voters.

Who decides whether this information is "factual" or a defense of an "oppressive ideology"? Who made someone feel uncomfortable or guilty? the students? parents. Politicians in Tallahassee. Judges: Was the decision taken by a majority?

What prevents Florida and other states from banning any speech the teacher does not like?

Current legal records reveal a wide range of controversies that led to earlier suppression efforts, including embezzlement of faculty grant funds, handling of laboratory animals, faculty and hospital practice and patient safety issues. The University of Florida, a public institution, attempted to prevent faculty members from testifying in court against the voting rights restrictions proposed by Governor DeSantis.

Supporters of the Stop Sedition Act should remember that the law can be used to stifle speech if the political winds change. At the very least, law enforcement will damage the reputation of Florida's public universities by making it difficult to attract the best faculty and students.

As the American Association of University Professors recently mentioned, academic freedom is essential to the pursuit of knowledge. For decades, teachers have had the primary responsibility for deciding what to teach and how to teach it, subject to professional standards and assessments of course. Academic freedom is a major contributor to US colleges and universities worldwide rankings of the best institutions of higher education.

If House 7 wins, we all lose.

David Webman is president of Hamilton College.

Glenn C. He is Cornell. He co-wrote the movie History, 1940-2015 (with Isaac Kramnik) .

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