By Brandon Moseley
Last week the University of Alabama Faculty Senate passed a resolution opposing critical race theory legislation that is pre-filed ahead of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.
““BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate at The University of Alabama expects the President to acknowledge that The University of Alabama opposes proposed and future legislation that undermines academic freedom and, therefore, the historic purpose of higher education, and expects the Board of Trustees to maintain its stated commitment to academic freedom; and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in the event such legislation passes, the Faculty Senate at The University of Alabama urges the President, Administration, and Board of Trustees to heed and appeal to long-held precedent set by the Supreme Court of the United States affirming the importance of academic freedom.”
State Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) is the sponsor of House Bill 9.
“I think they are talking about me,” Oliver said. “I am not opposed to them teaching critical race theory. What I am opposed to is them indoctrinating our kids.
“This bill is in response to constituents who have come to me and students at the University that have come to me and complained that they are forcing them to go through indoctrination in this instead of teaching them something useful."
Oliver said that this was nothing new, but is "just Marxism dusted off with a race component added to it" and then students are taught all about “white privilege.”
Oliver said that University of Alabama School of Law professor Richard Delgado was the original proponent of this theory, but it is now being pushed by a new generation of activist professors.
According to the synopsis, “This bill would prohibit this state and any of its political subdivisions or agencies from teaching certain concepts regarding race or sex in certain training. This bill would prohibit contractors with this state from teaching certain concepts regarding race or sex in its training of employees or personnel. This bill would require the Department of Labor to review training programs of state agencies that pertain to diversity and inclusion for compliance with its provisions. This bill would also require the Department of Labor to adopt rules to implement and enforce this act.”
Oliver said that HB9 is not in its final form.
“It will include parts of Danny’s bill,” Oliver explained referring to similar legislation pre-filed by State Rep. Danny Crawford (R-Athens) – HB11.
The State Board of Education has banned CRT instruction in K-12 education in Alabama, and Gov. Kay Ivey has campaigned on the assertion that it is not being taught in primary education in Alabama, but Oliver said that that is not true. He claims there are 50 teachers in Hoover teaching it and it was at the heart of an effort being pushed in the Mountain Brook School System over the summer.
There is a lot of grassroots conservative support for the legislature addressing this issue in the coming session. The Shelby County Women of Trussville, Eagle Forum, the Alabama Legislative Watchdogs and other groups have spoken out on this issue in the months leading up to the session. The Alabama Republican State Executive Committee passed a resolution in their Summer Meeting calling on legislators to address this issue. Republican insider and Executive Committee Member former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper (R-Montgomery) was one of the sponsors of that resolution.
“They are making the outlandish claim that banning CRT is against their freedom of speech and academic freedom,” Hooper said in response to the faculty Senate vote. “These assertions are completely false. Teachers or professors do not have the academic freedom or freedom of speech to teach the earth is flat, even if that’s what they believe...Teaching CRT in Alabama taxpayer-funded classrooms is just as outlandish. It is now up to the legislature to ban CRT in higher education as well.”
The regular session of the Alabama Legislature begins in three weeks, on Jan. 11.
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