In Education

California Lawsuit Alleges State-Enforced DEI In Public Community Colleges Is Unconstitutional

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) sued California on behalf of six professors Thursday to stop the state from forcing them to incorporate diversity, equity,  inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) concepts in their classes, according to a new lawsuit.

The six California community college professors say that California’s new DEIA rules force them to espouse “anti-racist” concepts in classroom teaching, which violates their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the case seek an injunction against the rules that will bar their enforcement and have the rules declared unconstitutional.

“What’s the ‘anti-racist’ perspective on the atomic mass of boron?” Reedley College professor Bill Blanken said in a FIRE press release.

“These regulations are a totalitarian triple-whammy,” FIRE attorney Daniel Ortner said in a FIRE press release. “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 DEIA guidelines also come with a glossary that describes the terms that professors should be familiar with, according to the lawsuit.

The glossary says that acknowledging people for their achievements is racist, stating that “merit is embedded in the ideology of Whiteness and upholds race-based structural inequality,” and reinforces racism. The glossary also claims that white people cannot experience racism, defining “reverse racism” as “a term created and used by White people to erroneously describe the discrimination they experience when racial minorities allegedly receive preferential treatment.”

The glossary calls race a “social construct” and says “there are no distinctive genetic characteristics that truly distinguish between groups of people,” and that race was simply created for “maintaining privilege and power.”

America’s colleges and universities exist to advance knowledge through critical thinking and academic experimentation, not indoctrinate students with the government’s preferred viewpoints,” the lawsuit reads. The new DEIA rules are enforced in all of the nearly 200 community colleges in the state, according to the lawsuit.

Multiple colleges and universities around the U.S. have been enforcing DEIA mandates and withholding tenure for professors that do not comply, such as the University of California, Berkeley, Indiana University School of Medicine, University of Tennessee and the University of San Diego School of Medicine. Some states led by Republicans like Texas and Florida have banned the implementation of DEI measures in publicly- funded colleges and universities.

“Whether it’s states forcing professors to teach DEIA concepts or states forcing them not to teach concepts that lawmakers deem ‘woke,’ the government can’t tell university professors what views they are or aren’t allowed to debate in the classroom,” FIRE attorney Jessie Appleby said.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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