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Despite protests from students on multiple campuses, Alabama’s governor signed into law Wednesday legislation that will, within public higher education institutions, limit so-called “divisive concepts” plus diversity, equity and inclusion programs and transgender individuals’ access to campus bathrooms.

“My administration has and will continue to value Alabama’s rich diversity, however, I refuse to allow a few bad actors on college campuses—or wherever else for that matter—to go under the acronym of DEI, using taxpayer funds, to push their liberal political movement counter to what the majority of Alabamians believe,” Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, said in a statement. “Supporting academic freedom, embracing diversity of cultures and backgrounds and treating people fairly are all key components of what we believe in Alabama, and I am more than confident that will continue.”

A governor’s spokeswoman told Inside Higher Ed there would be no further comment Thursday. The GOP-controlled state Legislature had finished passing the legislation Tuesday.

In a particular concern for free speech advocates, Senate Bill 129 could stop faculty members from teaching about what the bill dubs “divisive concepts”—such as the idea that meritocracy is racist—even in a critical way. Jeremy Young, the Freedom to Learn program director at PEN America, has said it would be “the most restrictive educational gag order in the country” affecting higher education.

It’s part of this year’s new wave of anti-DEI legislation, which includes impacts on instruction.

Former Tuskegee University president Lily D. McNair wrote in a Wednesday Alabama Reflector op-ed that the legislation “would restrict discussions of American history and culture in a variety of disciplines by prohibiting professors from assigning different ideas about the challenging issues of race, gender and identity. Even worse—and unique to SB 129—is a provision that would prevent faculty from assigning books or films where the author merely expresses that they themselves feel complicit in past wrongs.”

She wrote that her father was a veteran, and “bills like SB 129 threaten to take away the very ideals my father defended—and to replace prudent education with costly ignorance, undoing the work of past generations to educate the citizens of Alabama.”