Media Contact

Janna Farley,

March 3, 2022

Today, the Senate Education Committee killed House Bill 1337, legislation that would have censored classroom discussion in South Dakota public schools.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposed House Bill 1337. The First Amendment protects academic freedom and the right to share ideas, including the right of individuals to receive information and knowledge. Instead of encouraging learning, House Bill 1337 would have had a chilling effect on academic freedom.

“Education is a tool of empowerment put to its highest use when teachers and students are given the full scope of their constitutional rights to engage in comprehensive, meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations,” said Candi Brings Plenty, ACLU of South Dakota Indigenous justice organizer. “This bill was a blatant attempt to suppress speech that some may disfavor. We’re thrilled with the Senate Education Committee’s decision to kill House Bill 1337.”

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.