The Gender and Sexuality Studies major may escape House Bill 999 in a recent update

An update filed to House Bill 999 replaced language eliminating Gender and Sexuality Studies with the outright banning of all Critical Theory


Eston Parker III

The entrance to the Breezeway at FAU. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Savannah Peifer, Editor-in-Chief

The FAU Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality studies may be safe from elimination, but Critical Theory, of any kind, is even higher on the chopping block in a recent update to House Bill 999 (HB999). 

In its original filing from Rep. Alexander Andrade (R) Feb. 21 gender and sexuality studies were banned from Florida higher education. An update to the bill, filed March 15, removed all language related to the banning of the major and instead replaced it with the banning of critical theory entirely.

A university Board of Trustees (BoT) must advise a university to remove any major or minor that utilizes any methodology associated with critical theory. Some ideas prohibited are Critical Race Theory, Radical Feminist Theory, and Queer Theory. 

The update states universities must ensure their curriculum teaches based on growing workforce requirements and must focus on citizenship in relation to the “constitutional republic.”

Unlike the original filing, this update prohibits the use of diversity statements in college admissions applications, the original filing focused solely on faculty and staff applications. 

While the original bill granted tenure review authority to the BoT, the new version sets forth specifications and defines examples of what can constitute needing review, such as violation of any law and negligence. The BoT will gain all hiring authority and has the ability to delegate that to the president. However, the president of a university may not delegate to anyone outside the university’s executive team. 

The update mandates university presidents must also preside alongside the BoT to go over review findings for any employee earning more than $100,000 per year. 

HB999 and partner Senate Bill 266 have continued through committees and may make their way to Gov. Ron DeSantis to be signed into law. 

Savannah Peifer is the editor-in-chief for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories DM her on instagram @ginger.savvy or email her at [email protected].