STATEMENT: FL Board of Governors Pass Unprecedented Rules That Impose Unconstitutional Censorship and Strip Academic Freedom


Florida Board of Governors Pass Unprecedented Rules To Systematically Abolish Diversity & Inclusion Programs at State Universities, Eliminate Sociology from Core Courses

Rules Impose Unconstitutional Censorship and Strip Academic Freedom

Tallahassee, FL -- Today, the Florida Board of Governors passed rules that impose unconstitutional censorship on university campuses, seek to eliminate support for underrepresented students, and eliminate sociology as a core course option.

Carlos Guillermo Smith, Equality Florida’s Senior Policy Advisor, issued the following statement:

“It should be no surprise that today the Florida Board of Governors, a rubber stamp for Ron DeSantis’s agenda of censorship and surveillance, approved unprecedented rules that effectively abolish diversity and inclusion programs in our State University System intended to support LGBTQ and minority students. The Board’s rules go well beyond its authority granted by the legislature and instead impose broad censorship on a vast array of campus activities and speech and seriously threaten student and faculty participation in public life across the political, social, and religious spectrum. The shockingly broad and vague language will inevitably lead to self-censorship and a chilling effect that will end academic freedom as we know it on university campuses.

The sweeping away of academic freedom combined with the elimination of sociology as a core course option, a reckless and unresearched decision made with little review of potential impacts, has diminished the prestige and reputation of Florida’s public universities. The Board of Governors had the opportunity to hit the brakes, but instead, shamefully followed their censorship agenda off a cliff in service to DeSantis’s failed political ambitions.”


Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.






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