Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ohio government seeks to control college course political content

From ACLU-Ohio:

The Ohio Senate is considering a bill that would censor Ohio colleges and universities. The so-called “Academic Bill of Rights” is truly as a misnomer, as it is really an “academic bill of restrictions.” The ACLU of Ohio opposes passage of this bill because it could be used to curtail academic freedom and to encourage thought policing in our institutes of higher education. The bill would have a chilling effect on freedom of inquiry on Ohio’s campuses. For example:

· The bill forces the board of trustees, of both public and private schools, to adopt policies about what can and cannot be taught.

· Under the bill, faculty would be discouraged from teaching anything “controversial” – a vague term that could pertain to any number of topics including evolution, history, or religion.

I hope they will make "Brave New World" required reading, because if they are going to make this level of Newspeak --calling direct governmental control of college-level academic content a "bill of rights" -- part of the DNA of this brazen attempt to control education, everyone ought to at least know something about its origins.

Ohio is home to both the right-wingnuts who apoplected about Mapplethorpe's photos in Cincinnati and a few very progressive colleges, like Oberlin. The country's most restrictive anti-gay ballot initiative passed in Ohio in November, but that was merely the opening shot in a long-term pogrom. The goal seems to be to drive the infidels out of the state entirely.

I'll have more to say on the far right's assault on academia in a future column.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent of a 15 year old high school student who did extremely well on the PSAT (and has dozens of letter from colleges already in her folder), Ohio can just forget about getting their mitts on my kid of this crap passes. We have gotten at least 5 letters from Ohio schools and they will be trashed and taken off the list as possible colleges for my daughter. Idiots.
G in Indiana

3:29 AM  
Blogger larrabee said...

Well academic freedom is next on the chopping block. I saw that coming when the Governor of Colorado called a tenured professor his 'employee'see:

7:45 AM  

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