Kentucky bill would prevent colleges from forcing students to embrace 'divisive concepts'
Kentucky State Senator Mike Wilson recently proposed legislation to combat Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in higher education.
The bill would prohibit colleges from mandating students and faculty support radical ideologies like the idea that the 'Commonwealth of Kentucky or the United States of America is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.'
On Jan. 3, Kentucky State Senator Mike Wilson joined the growing number of elected officials to propose legislation against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in higher education.
Wilson introduced Senate Bill 6, which states that students and employees “shall not be required to endorse a specific ideology or political viewpoint to be eligible for hiring, contract renewal, tenure, promotion, or graduation and prohibit an institution from inquiring into the individual’s political or social viewpoints.”
Wilson reportedly said that the impetus for the legislation was the “trend in DEI policies … that attempt to divide instead of unite people.” He explained: “Instead of promoting intellectual dialogue, individualism, the content of one’s character and merit-based practices, DEI has driven a wedge against those of us who want to see Kentucky achieve greater things.”
The bill lists 16 total divisive concepts, including: “An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously,” “The Commonwealth of Kentucky or the United States of America is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist,” and “The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups.”
Other concepts that schools would not be able to compel students to believe in are, “All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and “Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”
Campuses could be sued for up to $100,000 per violation.
As previously reported by Campus Reform, universities like the University of Texas at San Antonio have scaled back DEI initiatives on campus in response to state legislation taking effect.
Campus Reform has contacted the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Kentucky University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.