Abbott Orders Texas Colleges And Universities To Police Antisemitic Speech

Rear view of large group of students on a class at lecture hall.

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Gov. Greg Abbott is directing Texas colleges and universities to police antisemitic speech on campus as the Israel-Hamas war keeps tensions high. Abbott issued an executive order on Wednesday requiring schools to include a definition of antisemitism in their free speech policies. Administrators are also required to establish and enforce punishments for violations of those policies, up to and including expulsion. Abbott says free speech involves responsibilities for students and schools alike.

"Antisemitism is never acceptable in Texas, and we will do everything we can to fight it," said Governor Abbott. "The State of Texas stands with Israel and the Jewish community, and we must escalate our efforts to protect against antisemitism at Texas colleges and universities and across our state. Across the country, acts of antisemitism have grown in number, size, and danger to the Jewish community since Hamas' deadly attack on October 7th. Texas took immediate action to protect Jewish schools, synagogues, and other key locations. Many Texas colleges and universities also acted quickly to condemn antisemitism, but some radical organizations on our campuses engaged in acts that have no place in Texas. Now, we must work to ensure that our college campuses are safe spaces for members of the Jewish community."

The Governor's Executive Order requires that all higher education institutions in Texas review their free speech policies to establish appropriate punishments for antisemitic rhetoric on college and university campuses, ensure that policies that address the sharp rise of antisemitic acts are enforced, and include the definition of antisemitism in free speech policies.

View the Governor’s Executive Order.

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