Media Contact

January 11, 2024

The Indiana House Education Committee today heard HB 1002, a bill that sponsors claim will address antisemitism in Indiana but instead would censor student speech and stifle debate on an urgent political issue.  

ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Chris Daley issued the following statement regarding HB 1002:  

“There is no doubt that antisemitism is a problem that must be addressed in Indiana. And the ACLU of Indiana supports all lawful efforts to combat it. Unfortunately, HB 1002 is unconstitutional. Students at public universities have the right to engage in political advocacy and speech-- no matter the viewpoint and no matter how controversial. 

“We take the weight and complexity of the challenges created by balancing free speech and safety seriously; sometimes that balance can feel unattainable. But free speech principles are the bedrock of academic freedom. And we believe it can be protected while also protecting individual Jewish students, faculty, and staff and student groups from impermissible harassment and discrimination.” 

Today’s hearing comes less than a month after an Indiana University Professor was suspended for holding an event with the IU student group Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC). Indiana University has justified the suspension, claiming that the professor was told by the administration that the PSC group could not hold the meeting due to an error in the room reservation. Three hundred Indiana University professors have since signed an open letter to the school opposing the suspension on academic freedom grounds. 

In addition to opposing HB 1002 and other legislation that threatens students’ right to free speech on campus, the ACLU of Indiana will continue to monitor the ongoing situation at Indiana University to ensure the action taken by the University was not based on the content of the meeting or viewpoint of the professor in question.