South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has called on the state’s Board of Regents to prohibit drag shows on college campuses and order the removal of all references to preferred pronouns in college materials.
In a letter sent to the board, Noem said that she wants South Dakota to be an example to the nation of what quality higher education should look like.
“Across the nation, higher education is in a state of crisis,” Noem said in a press release. “For the last several decades, many states have allowed liberal ideologies to poison their universities and colleges. Once a hotbed of ideological diversity, debate, and the pursuit of truth and discovery, many institutions have become one-sided, close-minded, and focused on feelings rather than facts. Professors have discarded reason and logic in favor of subjectivity and relativism. Higher education leaders have rejected universal truth and knowledge and replaced it with ‘individual truth.’”
Noem continued, “On campuses across the country, students have been taught the importance of diversity and equity and given access to ‘safe spaces’ instead of learning to tolerate the disagreement, discomfort, and dissent that they will experience in the real world. In many cases, students and their parents are not even aware of the damage these ideas have caused.”
“Less than half our students are even graduating, compared to 63% nationally. Students are also graduating with more debt and lower prospects at obtaining gainful employment. 43% of students who completed a college degree were underemployed after graduation. Countless students have been set up for failure – and charged tens of thousands of dollars for their trouble,” the governor said. “As a country, we should be ashamed of this. As a state, South Dakota can show the nation what quality higher education is supposed to look like.”
The governor explained that she is “charging the Board of Regents with the responsibility of revitalizing the institutions under its control and leading the nation by example.”
“We must work together to ensure that we are providing an education that truly prepares our kids for the world they are entering,” she wrote. “We must teach our kids a true and honest history of our great country. We must equip them with skills that will enable them to find meaningful, fulfilling careers. We must empower them to improve their communities, engage in the political process as well-educated citizens, and teach their kids to protect the gift we’ve all been given as citizens of the United States of America.”
In addition to tackling pronouns and drag shows, Noem also called for the board to remove any policy or procedure that prohibits students from exercising their right to free speech and require a course in American Government and a course in American history as part of the general education graduation requirements.
Earlier this year, Noem signed bills into law that prohibit sex changes for children and ban biological males from playing on girls’ sports teams.