Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Public Universities Overwhelmingly Violate First Amendment

Study reveals "that American colleges and universities systematically violate students' and faculty members' right to freedom of expression."

-- From "Public Universities Overwhelmingly Violate First Amendment" FIRE Press Release 12/15/08

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2009: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses reports on policies at 364 American colleges and universities. [The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education] found that approximately 74 percent of schools surveyed maintain policies that clearly restrict speech that, outside the borders of campus, is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Unfortunately, this year's report demonstrates that—despite decades of precedent declaring speech codes unlawful and two decisions this year alone—the majority of colleges and universities brazenly maintain policies that violate students' and faculty members' fundamental rights," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "Everyone who values the free exchange of ideas should be deeply disturbed by these findings."

FIRE's report is the most comprehensive effort to date both to quantify the proportion of colleges and universities that restrict free speech and to assess the severity of those restrictions.

For access to the entire study, CLICK HERE.