Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning DEI Policies at Public Schools and Universities

2024-03-21 11:00:05

This is quickly becoming the rule of thumb in red states. More Republicans need to get on board.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs sweeping law that prohibits diversity, equity, and inclusion at public schools and universities

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a sweeping bill into law Wednesday that prohibits public schools and universities from maintaining or funding diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

The law, known as SB129, also requires public universities to “designate restrooms on the basis of biological sex” — which Alabama law defines as “the physical condition of being male or female, as stated on the individual’s original birth certificate” — and not the gender that aligns with how a person identifies.

In a statement shared with CNN Wednesday, Gov. Ivey said her administration “will continue to value Alabama’s rich diversity,” but she vowed to stop DEI supporters and proponents from pursuing a “liberal political movement counter to what the majority of Alabamians believe.”

The law goes into effect on October 1, 2024.

SB129 comes amid a nationwide push from conservative lawmakers to limit the rights of transgender and LGBTQ individuals and ban DEI programs after the Supreme Court overturned affirmative action.

The legislation prohibits local public school boards and universities from maintaining an office or department that promotes DEI. It also bars students, employees, and contractors from being required to attend any DEI “training, orientation, or course work that advocates or requires assent to a divisive concept.”

The legislation outlines eight “divisive concepts” including discussions around conscious or subconscious racism and sexism, and whether “meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist” that are now prohibited.

It also empowers state agencies – including local boards of education and public universities – to “discipline or terminate the employment of any employee or contractor who knowingly violates this act.”

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Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning DEI Policies at Public Schools and Universities


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