Crazy Militant Speech Codes On U.S. College Campuses


Welcome to college, where you're free to think and say whatever you'd like . . . as long as it doesn't offend anybody. Well, who decided what's offensive? In this era of the socially conscious, where the simple act of disagreeing with somebody is offensive, there must be an eerie silence floating around these universities.

A majority of universities across the nation continue to infringe upon their students’ First Amendment right to free speech, according to a 2015 survey of campus policies published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Once bastions of free expression and open debate, modern American universities prohibit speech in a variety of ways to protect students from ideas some deem “offensive,” “harmful” or “upsetting.”

According to the foundation’s report, “Spotlight on Speech Codes 2015: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses,” nearly 55 percent of the 437 universities analyzed have “policies that clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech,” earning the group’s “Red Light” designation.

FIRE conducts a yearly free speech review of the nation’s universities to assess their adherence to the First Amendment, and this year’s stats showed nominal improvement over previous ones.

“Last year, that figure stood at 58.6 percent; this is the seventh year in a row that the percentage of schools maintaining such policies has declined,” the group noted.

But don’t pop the champagne cork just yet. The foundation’s president, Greg Lukianoff, co-penned a cover story for The Atlantic this month which warns the tide has turned so far that now some students want protection from other students’ and professors’ “scary ideas.”

Speech restrictions are often done via speech codes or anti-harassment rules, policies prohibiting speech on campus that would otherwise be permitted in the public square. Moreover, schools and universities can suspend students for violating speech codes without notice or a hearing, substantially violating their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

“A university education is supposed to accomplish two things: expose you to a wide variety of ideas and help you navigate through them; and turn you into an adult, which is to say, someone who can cope with people, and ideas, they don’t like. If the schools abdicate both functions, then the only remaining function of an education is the credential. But how much will the credential be worth when the education behind it no longer prepares you for the real world?”

With tuition costs all over the country on the rise, what's the point of going to college if you're no longer allowed to think for yourself? Trying to restrict free speech by deciding what is and isn't offensive is a pointless exercise, because as we all know, the real world is an offensive place.

Read more at: The College Fix



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