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DDN Opinion: SB 83 an attempt to strong-arm what topics can be addressed in public

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Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News Ideas & Voices

By Ray Marcano

Lawmakers sometimes craft bills that leave voters shaking their heads in astonishment.

In the case of the horribly unjustifiable Senate Bill 83, voters could very well shake their heads so hard they’d break their necks.

Judging from the title, the “Ohio Higher Education and Enhancement Act” doesn’t seem so threatening. In reality, the proposal would prevent Ohio’s public colleges from engaging in wide-ranging intellectual debate, embrace Orwellian values of obscuring history and create a policy to make Asian xenophobia the official policy of the state.

Those aren’t even the worse parts.

Under SB 83, universities could not mandate diversity, equity, and inclusion training, the latest boogeyman on the right.

These lawmakers want to tell institutions what they can and can’t discuss publicly by creating a haphazard list that reflects their own bias. The bill would prohibit universities from taking a position on any “controversial belief or policy,” including diversity, immigration policy, or climate change. But it’s OK, the bill says, to take a position during war.