Viewpoint diversity bill teed up in House

The legislation would also prohibit universities from denying controversial speakers the right to speak on campuses.

The House will consider a bill this week that would require the state to survey the ideological beliefs of Florida’s college professors.

Filed by Republican Rep. Spencer Roach of Fort Meyers, the proposal (HB 233) would require the State Board of Education to conduct an annual assessment on the “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” of college professors in Florida. Thereafter, the Board of Governors would annually compile and publish the survey results.

“The only statutory requirements in this bill regarding the survey is that the survey be objective, that it be nonpartisan and that it be statistically valid,” Roach said at a committee stop.

Under the bill, students would also be permitted to record within higher education classrooms without the consent of a professor or presenter.

The recording would only be allowed for personal educational use or “in connection with a complaint to the public institution of higher education where the recording was made; or “as evidence in, or in preparation for, a criminal or civil proceeding,” the bill reads.

Additionally, Roach’s proposal seeks to prohibit universities from denying controversial speakers the freedom to speak on campuses.

The legislation comes as conservatives warn of widespread liberal indoctrination taking place in universities and colleges.

It also underscores the Republican call to arms against “cancel culture.”

Cancel a culture is a modern form of digital and social ostracism.

Meriam-Webster defines the practice as a halt in support of a person. In more high-profile instances, the act of canceling someone often involves a social media company banning the individual from its platform, as happened to former President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Republican, referenced “cancel culture” several times during his opening remarks as Speaker.

Last week, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, also a Republican, warned banks that withholding services for political reasons is a form of “cancel culture.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, declared war on ‘Big Tech’ and cancel culture in February.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.

One comment

  • Ron Ogden

    March 15, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    How ironic that the cancel crowd finds itself at risk of being. . .canceled.

Comments are closed.


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