Higher Education Bill Would Protect Student Beliefs
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Higher Education Bill Would Protect Student Beliefs

Date: February 4, 2008
By: Stephanie Levy
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Legislation prompted by a student who felt she was discriminated against when required to do an assignment she did not believe in, faces the House education committee for the second time. Stephanie Levy (lee-vee) has more on the issue. RunTime:0:42
OutCue: SOC

The proposal is designed to encourage intellectual diversity in the classroom. A similar bill passed the House last spring, but House Minority Leader Jeff Harris called it "a witch hunt" as part of a "national, right-wing, extremist agenda."

Republican Representative Jane Cunningham sponsored the bill and says it aims to protect students from discrimination.

Actuality:  INTEL1.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "It just requires that the universities tell the legislature what steps they're taking to ensure intellectual diversity and that students feel free to express their viewpoints without penalty."

Universities would have to report on their website how they promote the free exchange of ideas on campus.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Stephanie Levy.


Intro: College students will have legal protection to speak their mind in class without facing a lowered grade. Stephanie Levy (lee-vee) has more. 

RunTime:0:58
OutCue: SOC

St. Louis County Republican Representative Jane Cunningham sponsored a bill she says would protect college students and staff from discrimination based on personal beliefs. But opponents of the bill say it will cause more problems with freedom of speech than it solves.

The legislation stems from an incident at Missouri State University in Springfield, where a student was forced to do an assignment that conflicted with her beliefs.

Actuality:  INTEL2.WAV
Run Time: 00:17
Description: We had a survey done, commissioned, that studied students at  Missouri State and University of Missouri-Columbia, and they found among the survey questions that 51 percent of the students responding said they felt like they had to agree with their professor's viewpoint in order to get a good grade.


A similar bill passed the House last spring but was never discussed in the Senate. According to the bill, universities would have to include issues of intellectual diversity in their teaching and grievance policies.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Stephanie Levy.