Sunday, May 08, 2005
"Peddled under the benign name "An Academic Bill of Rights," SB 5 is in fact part of a wide assault on universities, professors and teaching across the country. Similar bills are pending in more than a dozen state legislatures and at the federal level, all calling for government intrusion into pedagogical matters, such as text assignments and course syllabuses, that neither legislators nor bureaucrats are competent to address.
"The real purpose of the bill, then, is not to provide students with "rights" but to institute state monitoring of universities, to impose specific points of view on instructors — in many cases, points of view that have been intellectually discredited — and ultimately to silence dissenting voices by punishing universities that protect them.
"Why should we, as fairly moderate to conservative legislators, continue to support universities that turn out students who rail against the very policies their parents voted us in for?" asks the Republican sponsor of the Ohio version of the bill.
"Backers of the Florida bill would like to empower students to sue professors with whom they disagree on the theory of evolution."