The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Staff Editorial: North Carolina laws hurt community, whistleblowers

With the inspiring rise in civilian-reported injustices recorded on smartphones, we would hope that our representatives in government would choose to protect the rights of whistleblowers.

With rising awareness of poor conditions in the food industry, we would hope they would protect employees in the industry as well.

But North Carolina legislators recently did the opposite with the passing of HB-405, which went into effect on Jan. 1. Now any citizen tempted to report on illegal or unethical practices must tread very lightly, as they can be sued by businesses for whistleblowing.

Essentially, rather than making sure business owners face consequences, we now shoot the messenger.

The new widely criticized law is one of many “ag gag” laws across the nation. It most notably impacts the agricultural industry — wrongdoing ranging from public health to environmental hazards to animal cruelty will now continue to remain under wraps.

We hope Guilfordians and others will see why this law cannot be accepted. Regardless of opinion on animal rights or the environment, one cannot argue against our First Amendment rights.

We invite community members not only to oppose this ruling, but also to take action beyond this topic. The state is currently being sued by a number of groups over the law, and while it may not be overturned, there is also a bigger picture to consider.

Consider this: if lawmakers want us to be as misinformed as possible, we should seek out all the information we can.

Oppose the suppression of information both by looking into this law and scrutinizing injustice anywhere you see it. We at The Guilfordian will do our part to spread the truth about what happens on this campus and the world we live in. We hope you will too.

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