If the fractious behavior of college students is allowed to continue, a senior policy analyst warns that freedom of speech is in jeopardy.
In an opinion piece written for The Detroit News, Jonathan Butcher of The Heritage Foundation says radical college students' aggressive resistance to ideas with which they disagree is comparable to anarchy.
"Mob rule is what we're seeing," he submits. "I think when a group of students feels that a particular presenter or a set of comments either is offensive to them or they disagree with it, not only are they not going to listen, but they're going to make it impossible for anyone else to hear it."
To stop this dangerous trend from threatening the future of free speech, Butcher believes college officials should institute consequences for such behavior.
"What students are finding is that it's okay to do that -- that when they do shout someone down or when they do silence someone else, they are not facing any consequences for that," he observes. "We should be laying the blame at the feet of the adults in these college systems that allow this to happen."
Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have enacted proposals in recent years that protect everyone's right to be heard.