MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Republican Party Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution supporting banning diversity, equity and inclusion policies at state institutions.
The resolution says the goal is to restore integrity to higher education, stating such bureaucracies and policies have “bloated public institution organization and structure,” and “stifled intellectual diversity.”
“A lot of folks are concerned about the education system,” former state lawmaker and current GOP executive committee member Paul DeMarco said.
DeMarco says the party wants to prevent bias and inequality in education.
“Some of these concepts divide our country. They’re not there to teach kids but to try to indoctrinate, and that’s our concern,” DeMarco said.
However, those with the Alabama Higher Education Commission worry a policy banning certain topics or ideas could infringe on free speech.
“We put in protections to make sure that free speech would be protected, and to me, to some extent, this may limit some of that or at least put a feeling of potential repression,” Executive Director Jim Purcell said.
Purcell says the commission previously worked with lawmakers to ensure there were policies encouraging open dialogue on campus. He’s concerned this action could be backpedaling.
“It just seems to me that this is sort of going in the other direction, restricting that same thing that they had worked real hard for several years ago to bring greater access to communication on campuses,” Purcell said.
Purcell says the commission is ready to support lawmakers with any revisions on potential legislation related to this issue.
This resolution alone doesn’t change any current laws, but it does signal to lawmakers what the party wants to pass this session and could be a catalyst for future bills.