A watchdog group in Mississippi is troubled by a university in the state that has a policy allowing for the expulsion of students who inflict "emotional distress" on others.
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy reports that Delta State University, for the most part and like most institutes of higher learning, has commonsense policies regarding student speech. But Dr. Jameson Taylor, vice president of policy for the Center, says a troublesome policy at DSU (stated below) allows for disciplining a student, including suspension and expulsion, who hurts another student's feelings:
"Words, behavior, and/or actions which inflict mental or emotional distress on others and/or disrupt the educational environment at Delta State University are strictly prohibited." (Student Handbook Guidelines and Regulations, Item 30)
That statement is buried in the document "University Police: Campus Parking Regulations and Safety Guidelines."
Taylor says the prevalence of postmodernism on today's campuses incubates these kinds of bad speech policies.
"The problem, of course, is that we're seeing college campuses are normalizing suppression of free speech, suppression of free association," he tells OneNewsNow. "They're normalizing tyranny really. They're denying students the right to free speech and free association."
Delta State – located in Cleveland, Mississippi – is just one of two universities in the Magnolia State that has received a speech code rating of red from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. That rating is given to schools that have at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.
"We have been warning for years that if kids don't learn U.S. history, if kids don't learn the U.S. Constitution, if they don't learn that anything is true, the result is going to be a dictatorship of moral relativism," Taylor adds. "That day is here."
The Center VP says one way of combating this is for state legislators to pass laws requiring school administrators to respect students' basic rights of free speech and free association. But for now, warns Taylor's organization: "If you're on campus at Delta State, use extreme caution with your words. One man's free speech might be another man's emotional trigger – and the university wants to be the arbiter."