UT Faculty Protests New Law By Teaching Divisive Concepts During “Speak In”

Oct 6, 2022 | Political News

Faculty members at the University of Tennessee (UT) are protesting a new law this week by teaching the very concepts they say the Divisive Concepts Act aims to ban.

All participants of the protest which is being called a “speak-in” are tenured. Tenured instructors have speech-related protections that may shield them from any repercussions of their challenge to what they see as a law that restricts free speech.

Event organizers, who compare the current conflict over divisive concepts to the legal battles that surrounded the teaching of evolution, said in a statement, “the law attempts to chill classroom speech about race, gender, sexuality, and class – in effect, about social inequalities of all kinds – by naming discussion of such inequalities ‘divisive.’ These social inequalities define the history of the United States and the world, both historically and in our current moment.”

The aim of the new law is to ensure that students and employees of colleges and universities are not subject to penalty or discrimination if they choose not to endorse any particular divisive concept. As publicly funded universities in Tennessee go “woke,” the law protects students and employees from adopting ideologies as a requirement for hiring, tenure, promotion or graduation.