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When I saw that the court’s Judge Walker rejected key parts of the “Stop Woke Act”(Individual Freedom Act) in Florida, I assumed that he was just another Leftist judge attacking the Conservative legislation. But then I saw that he was responding to a lawsuit brought by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) on behalf of a faculty member, a student, and a student group. FIRE is a highly regarded organization that champions free speech. You can review their lawsuit here. FIRE stated that the act was unconstitutional in that it disallowed free speech on public college campuses.
Judge Walker’s blistering criticism referred to the work of George Orwell:
‘In this case, the State of Florida lays the cornerstone of its own Ministry of Truth under the guise of the Individual Freedom Act, declaring which viewpoints shall be orthodox and which shall be verboten in its university classrooms,’ Walker wrote.
‘[T]he First Amendment does not permit the State of Florida to muzzle its university professors, impose its own orthodoxy of viewpoints, and cast us all into the dark,’ Walker concluded.
The legislation was intended to bring a halt to curricula that ignored or defied traditional teaching of values and subjects, since universities were condemning traditional education and providing Marxist and socialist content to students. The judge, in his objection, said that the state could provide educational curriculum, but explained that there is no precedent for the State of Florida’s assertion that the state “has an unfettered right to prohibit professors from expressing viewpoints with which it disagrees.”
It’s important to note FIRE’s position in this lawsuit:
FIRE’s suit is limited to higher education and does not take a position on the truth of the prohibited concepts of race and sex. Rather, FIRE takes the viewpoint-neutral approach that faculty retain the right to give an opinion—whether that opinion supports or opposes the prohibited concepts in the Stop WOKE Act….
For those of us who believe the university has corrupted education by distorting content and attacking traditional viewpoints, this ruling creates a few dilemmas:
- How do we return our universities to teaching an appropriate curriculum?
- How do we limit the propaganda being taught without violating the constitution?
- Is there a way to ensure that at least a balanced curriculum is offered to students?
- Was the writing of the “Stop Woke” Act insufficient to meet the state’s agenda?
Is this ruling a message that the universities can’t be stopped in their march to destroy the foundations of the United States?
You can read the “Stop Woke Act” here.Published in