The bill SB129 Enrolled, also known as the "Alabama Act to Prohibit Divisive Concepts in Public Education," seeks to regulate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within public entities in Alabama. It specifically prohibits state agencies, local boards of education, and public institutions of higher education from maintaining offices or sponsoring programs that are exclusively dedicated to DEI. The bill defines what it considers "divisive concepts" and prohibits these entities from compelling individuals to affirm, adopt, or adhere to such concepts. Additionally, the bill restricts the use of public funds to promote these concepts and mandates that public institutions of higher education designate restrooms based on biological sex.

The bill does allow for certain exceptions, ensuring that activities such as DEI programs hosted by student or faculty organizations without state funding, responses to questions about DEI in an educational context, and compliance with accreditation standards are not prohibited. It also does not prevent the historically accurate teaching of topics or events, nor does it infringe upon First Amendment rights or academic freedom. The bill includes provisions for disciplinary actions against employees or contractors who knowingly violate the act. It also includes a severability clause, ensuring that if any part of the act is declared invalid, the remaining sections will continue to be in effect. The act is scheduled to become effective on October 1, 2024. The bill was introduced by Senator Barfoot and has passed through both the Senate and the House with amendments.

Statutes affected:
Enrolled: 16-5-1