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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Calls for Drag, Pronoun Ban at Colleges

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Calls for Drag, Pronoun Ban at Colleges

<p>South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Calls for Drag, Pronoun Ban at Colleges</p>

She included the bans in a list of recommendations on improving South Dakota colleges and universities.


Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota has called on the state’s Board of Regents — the group that supervises the state’s higher education institutions — to ban drag shows from campuses and remove selected pronouns from college and university materials.

In a letter she sent to the board and posted online on Thursday, she said that states have “allowed liberal ideologies to poison their universities and colleges.”

She added that these institutions that were “once a hotbed of ideological diversity, debate, and the pursuit of truth and discovery” have now “become one-sided, close-minded, and focused on feelings rather than facts.”

Noem wrote that colleges and universities have taught the importance of diversity and provided safe spaces but do not teach students how to tolerate dissent or disagreement.

In a list of actions, she urges the board to “remove all references to preferred pronouns in all school materials and any enforcement of such.”

Another challenge is to “prohibit drag shows from taking place on university campuses.”

Those items are included among others such as raising the state’s 47 percent graduation rate at schools the board oversees to creating apprenticeship programs. Noem also wrote that these schools should require a course on American government and American history.

“Remove any policy or procedure that prohibits students from exercising their right to free speech,” Noem included.

The governor on Friday released a whistleblower hotline that students, faculty, parents, and others can use to report South Dakota institutions of higher education if they have concerns.

The recommendation to purge school materials of pronouns that do not align with a person’s assigned gender at birth comes months after Noem signed a bill into law that prohibits trans athletes from participating in school sports teams that align best with their gender identity as well as a bill outlawing gender-affirming care for trans youth.

It’s the latest move by GOP governors and lawmakers to restrict the rights of transgender people and the latest to target drag shows.

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