(NEW YORK)— A member of Congress and a state lawmaker in Texas have separately called on Texas A&M to remove “critical race theory” from their 4-H program and to disband their minor in LGBTQ Studies. 

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy wrote a letter this week demanding Texas A&M remove a course from their Agrilife 4-H program that he described as “Critical Race Theory (CRT) infused.”

Earlier in February, State Rep. Brian Harrison wrote on X that he would be “exploring legislative remedies” to disband the university’s LGBTQ Studies program, describing it as “liberal indoctrination.” Rep. Roy reposted the statement, saying, “This must be fixed in the next legislative session, completely.”

Jeremy C. Young, Freedom to Learn program director at PEN America, said in response: “This level of ideological meddling into the affairs of a university by politicians is frightening. Legislators are likely to cast a chilling effect on campus when they demand specific courses be dropped and threaten legislative action against a course of study. And for a state lawmaker to propose a law that would censor one specific academic discipline is a violation of the very essence of academic freedom. Universities are places where all ideas must be welcome and open for debate. If you ban some ideas from the classroom, you would no longer have a university at all.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], (201) 247-5057