California Community College Profs Sue State Over DEI Teaching Mandates

(Wikimedia Commons)
September 1, 2023

A lawsuit filed in federal court last week seeks to halt new diversity, equity, and inclusion standards at California’s community colleges.

The suit was filed by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) on behalf of six professors at Clovis, Madera, and Reedley community colleges. It seeks to declare the standards unconstitutional under the First and 14th Amendments.

The DEI standards, which were adopted in 2022 by the State Center Community College District, warn professors not to "weaponize academic freedom" to "impede equity" or "inflict curricular trauma" on students.

They also require that professors have "knowledge of the intersectionality of social identities and the multiple axes of oppression that people from different racial, ethnic, and other minoritized groups face."

A FIRE press release states that the regulations "explicitly require professors to pledge allegiance to contested ideological viewpoints."

This is not the first time the community college district has landed in legal trouble for First Amendment violations. FIRE sued Clovis Community College on behalf of Young Americans for Freedom after the group’s chapter was prevented from hanging flyers that were purportedly "offensive."