Politicians and activists who endorse clampdowns on books that middle and high school students are permitted to access in libraries, as well as in their coursework, are having their moment. In school districts across the country, they’re enacting an agenda to shield children from information that’s portrayed as being harmful to personal esteem, pride in country, or proper understanding of society, science, history, and economics.

But while these officials and advocates are racking up wins, they’re unknowingly setting up their own and others’ children for debilitating disappointments. When the tweens and teens whom they aim to protect begin their adult lives, the by-product of this educational narrowing will be millions of young adults who will be unable to function, collaborate, and prosper in college and the working world.

Should the young people who are on the receiving end of public school education “cleansing” have aspirations to attend competitive colleges, those plans will likely be out of reach. Top universities expect that applicants have a variety of AP courses featured on their applications. For high school students living in states where confining educational policies are enforced, AP classes in the arts, civics, history, and science will likely be found to contain subject matter that is deemed objectionable. It’s not out of the question that these classes may be removed from public schools’ curricula in order to guard children from teachings that are viewed as divisive. The absence of these advanced educational options will create insurmountable admissions hurdles for ambitious youngsters.

For students whose grade school educations were expurgated yet managed to attend undergraduate college, enrolling in a graduate school may be difficult. Depending upon how much these young people have embraced the externally imposed dogma that influenced the classroom experiences of their middle school and high school years, their undergraduate schooling will not have prepared them for the collaboration, critical thinking requirements, and exposure to varying perspectives that grad schools facilitate—including MFA, MBA, MS, and JD programs and advanced engineering degrees. As the president of a medical school, I can confidently state that a prospective enrollee who hasn’t demonstrated a passion for provable science, human empathy, and intelligent analysis will stand zero chance of getting accepted by our admissions team.

In terms of getting hired, young job applicants whose worldviews have been shaped by a confined flow of information in their grade school years may struggle—especially if they’re aiming to work at established companies or startups. In the tech startup firm that I’ve cofounded, team members who can’t intelligently articulate their positions, seek to understand and find value in the ideas of others, or tolerate viewpoints that diverge from what they’ve been taught and have accepted as truth will have zero economic value to the organization and will be quickly relieved of their roles.

The by-product of this educational narrowing will be millions of young adults who will be unable to function, collaborate, and prosper in college and the working world.

What the irate politicians and activists don’t realize is that their plans to “sanitize” public school education and prevent “ideological conformity” will have grave repercussions on our economy and society. Banning inputs of knowledge that have been identified as potentially causing “psychological distress” will reduce the ability of young people to engage in strategic analysis. It will deprive them of the skills that are needed to cite arguments, demonstrable facts, and empirical evidence to validate their points of view. Such learning curbs will create homogenous and faulty conclusions that will lead to bad decisions in every profession.

Please know that I’m not only looking at this matter as a higher education executive and a business owner: I’m also viewing it as an old-school Reagan conservative. Our 40th president had no tolerance for the notion of restricting what students learn. He was an adherent of exploring “the diversity of ideas and experiences of what we call civilization.” At a speech he made at the Westminster College Cold War Memorial in Fulton, Mo., Reagan stated, “So long as books are kept open, then minds can never be closed.”

The notion that limiting the knowledge base of public school students safeguards their self-esteem and intellectual wellness is 100% conjecture. There are zero data points, studies, or credible evidence that this agenda-driven censorship will yield any gains. Unfortunately, it’s an opinion that is gaining support. In several years, the harm that it has brought to our society and economy, and the disadvantage that it will have created to our international competitive position, will be verifiable facts.

David Lenihan is the president of Ponce Health Sciences University and the CEO of Tiber Health.