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Graphic by Bell Jackson.

News in brief

By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content

‘Divisive concepts’ bill makes appearance in Alabama legislature  

A bill banning public schools and colleges from promoting certain “divisive topics,” which include topics related to sex, race and religion, has returned to the Alabama State Legislature. 

This piece of legislation, HB7, has been pushed to the House floor after being approved 9-3 in committee on April 12. All 21 cosponsors of the bill are Republican and white. 

The bill prohibits seven topics from being taught, including teaching that, “That individuals should be discriminated against or adversely treated solely because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.” It also allows for these topics to be discussed at the college level, as long as it is done so in an “objective manner and without endorsement.” 

A similar bill was passed by the House in 2022, but failed to pass the Senate before the legislative session ended.   

HB7 falls in line with the Alabama Republican Party’s resolution to abolish diversity, equity and inclusion policies in public institutions. This resolution was adopted by the party’s State Executive Committee in February.  

Meanwhile, introduced in the Alabama Senate, SB189, authored by Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman, requires that K-12 social studies and history education be, “fact-based, historically accurate, and inclusive.” 

Legislature considers restrictions on transgender college athletes 

The Alabama House Education Policy Committee approved legislation that would prevent transgender athletes from joining sports teams that correspond with their gender identity on April 12. The bill will now move on to be voted on by the House of Representatives. 

The bill says that sports teams, “designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to a biological male,” and that a “biological female” will also be barred from joining teams designated for men. If passed, the ban would affect both intercollegiate and intramural sports teams.  

Republican Rep. Susan DuBose, who sponsored the bill, argues that transgender athletes—specifically transgender women—have unfair advantages in competing, saying, “no amount of hormone therapy can undo all those advantages” of being born male. 

Forty Republican members of the House of Representatives have cosponsored the bill. If the bill is approved by the state legislature, Alabama would join 19 other states that have placed restrictions on transgender athletes.  

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.