Taxpayer funded Lawfare and Florida’s New College

Christopher Rufo

The fight for New College of Florida has taken another turn. Earlier today, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into the Sarasota-based university, where I serve as a trustee, for alleged “discrimination on the basis of disability.”

The investigation stems from a complaint by unnamed “students, faculty, and staff” alleging, in part, that the college’s trustees and administrators violated civil rights law by removing “gender neutral” signage from bathrooms, defunding the DEI and gender studies programs, and “misgendering” the former DEI director, who uses “ze/zir” pseudo-pronouns.

This is a brazen attempt to subvert the democratic governance of New College and entrench left-wing ideological programs under the guise of civil rights law. Although the complaint is wholly without merit, this does not mean it will automatically fail. The Biden Administration has demonstrated repeatedly that it is willing to weaponize the federal law enforcement apparatus against school board parents and other conservative reformers.

We are ready for the fight. When Governor DeSantis appointed the new board of trustees, he told us: “If the media isn’t attacking you, you’re not doing your job.” The same could be said of the Biden Administration.