Higher Ed, Higher Revenue: Sunday’s Comic

Thorpe Bills Would Ban Classes That Violate Civil Rights Law

On Friday, the Daily Caller reported on a bill  under consideration by Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe that would ban taxpayer funding for “any coursework which stokes racial, religious or gender resentment,” and “ban government funding of courses which promote racial, gender or ethnic isolation.”

According to the Daily Caller report, Thorpe is also contemplating passing another bill that “would require that college students receive notices of employment statistics for all courses they take. Under this part of the bill, all state-funded colleges and universities would be required to provide students with national employment statistics “associated with the majority of students who have successfully completed the course of study or degree” and a warning that “participation in classes may not result in a student’s employability.”

Daily Caller Education Editor, Eric Owens, reports that Thorpe’s bill also “deliberately notes that it is not meant to “restrict or prohibit” students from “engaging in academic exercises that may have little or no marketable skills or measurable worth to themselves, an employer or to society.”

In an appearance on the James T. Harris show on Friday, Harris told Thorpe that he admired the way Thorpe honored Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights act of 1964 in this bill. Later Harris said, “As a former History teacher, I appreciate the fact that Bob is protecting academic freedom while sending a strong message that we cannot continue to foment racial division in the name of justice.”

Thorpe told Harris, “I’m a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King. I think that anyone would agree that Dr. King wanted strong, resilient young people to develop into what God wants them to develop into. Be strong, confident, and capable. Now the whole notion that we are dividing instead of uniting just really leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and so I was driven.” Thorpe said his bill is not trying to curtail academic freedom; instead he said, “we need to be thinking strategically when we talk about what the taxpayers want to fund. Do we want to fund underwater basket weaving or do we want to fund a scientist, a mathematician, people who will guard us against cyber-attacks and become great leaders. I think that the emphasis on really producing stellar individuals at some point has been diluted in our secondary institutions.”

[Listen to the interview here]

Popular conservative pundit, Yolanda Weinberger started an online petition urging Thorpe to officially submit the bill for consideration. Weinberger writes:

Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for any classes at our state universities that indoctrinate our students and promote racial, religious and/or gender resentment. These classes are divisive, incendiary, and contrary to the values of Arizonans. Additionally, the classes are in violation of laws prohibiting the taxpayer funding of coursework encouraging racial resentment in public schools.

We want our population to be well educated with an honest, balanced view of history and the many cultures of people that make up our state so that we can move forward united in this, the 21st century.

[Sign the petition here]