The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, otherwise known as FIRE, has just published its annual "Spotlight on Speech Codes" for parents and students.
Many American colleges and universities maintain severely restrictive policies and codes that limit freedom of speech on campuses, which results in an atmosphere that is just the opposite of the marketplace of ideas that campuses are supposed to be.
Executive director of FIRE Robert Shibley says parents and students need to be aware of what campuses speech policies are this year.
“As parents and students head back to campus this fall, they ought to keep in mind that in many campuses their student’s speech is not going to be free,” he says. “In fact, 55 percent of campuses this year have speech codes that violate the First Amendment or violate their own promises of free speech.”
Even though some college campuses have had relatively tolerable speech codes in the past, Shibley warns that could easily changed.
“You know you always have to be careful,” he says. “People are always looking for a way to take away your rights when you’re not paying attention. Unfortunately, college campuses are no exception to that."
The entire Spotlight on Speech Codes report is available online.