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California Community College Professors Sue, Alleging New DEI Rules Violate First Amendment

California community college professors are suing state officials, alleging that new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) rules put in place violated their First Amendment rights, The Hill reported.Reedley CollegeReedley College

The lawsuit – from six professors – argued that the DEI rules “mandate viewpoint conformity” and “force professors to endorse the government’s view on politically charged questions regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.” They also threaten promotions and tenure pursuits by potentially punishing faculty for not following the state’s definitions of DEI, the suit alleges.

“These regulations are a totalitarian triple-whammy,” FIRE attorney Daniel Ortner said. “The government is forcing professors to teach and preach a politicized viewpoint they do not share, imposing incomprehensible guidelines, and threatening to punish professors when they cross an arbitrary, indiscernible line.”

The free speech group Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) – which sued Florida last year over the “Stop WOKE Act” – is assisting the plaintiffs.

“I’m a professor of chemistry. How am I supposed to incorporate DEI into my classroom instruction?” Reedley College professor Bill Blanken said in a statement. “What’s the ‘anti-racist’ perspective on the atomic mass of boron?”

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