The Tennessee legislature just passed one of the best bills in America. The “Tennessee Higher Education Freedom of Expression and Transparency Act,” sponsored by Rep. Ragan and Senator Hensley, starts rolling back divisive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirements at publicly funded colleges and universities, including medical schools. It’s exactly the sort of reform that other states should look to as they push back against Critical Race Theory’s takeover of education.
The bill’s findings clearly state that “public medical institutions of higher education best serve the state when providing meritorious education and training that positions future healthcare professionals to serve all patients adequately and to the best of their ability.” Do No Harm could not agree more.
To ensure that happens, the bill includes several key provisions:
- No DEI Statements: Applicants for employment and admission cannot be required to submit DEI Statements, which medical schools increasingly use to weed out candidates who don’t toe the woke party line. This helps ensure that students and faculty are chosen by merit, not politics. And getting rid of these statements will create a more intellectually diverse campus environment where students and their teachers are open to exploring new research ideas.
- No DEI Spending: Medical schools are prohibited from using state funds for fees, dues, subscriptions, or travel relating to an organization that requires an individual to endorse or promote a divisive concept – i.e., that a certain race or sex is inherently superior to another or that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist. This ban covers essentially every medical association. This puts pressure on groups like the AMA and AAMC to drop their increasingly discriminatory demands. Most taxpayers don’t realize their hard-earned dollars fund woke national organizations that focus on progressive activism over patient outcomes.
There are even more victories in the bill, including welcoming campus speakers with differing views, banning discrimination against student groups based on their ideologies, requiring DEI officers to focus on workforce training and promote intellectual diversity, and notifying students and teachers of their rights, among others.
Once Governor Lee signs the bill, Tennessee will have gone further than any other state in weeding out DEI at medical schools. Hopefully it will be the first of many such measures in Tennessee. And it should be a model for every other state that wants to ensure its medical schools uphold the highest standards of education and excellence in health care.
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