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Spotlight on Speech Codes 2012

January 17, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
+  Free speech and open debate are severely restricted at colleges and universities; the vast majority of American colleges and universities have speech codes.
+  Of 392 schools surveyed, 65% maintain severely restrictive, “red light” speech codes.
+  In Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wisconsin, 100% of the schools surveyed received a red light.
+  The percentage of schools with red light speech codes has declined for the fourth year in a row, down from 75% four years ago.
+  The percentage of public schools with a red light rating also fell for a fourth consecutive year, from 79% four years ago to 65% this year—a dramatic change.
+  Schools that eliminated all of their red light policies usually maintained other policies that were rated yellow light; overall, 29% of schools received a yellow light rating.
+  Fourteen schools (3.6%) received FIRE’s highest, green light rating, up from eight schools (2%) four years ago. The best state for free speech in higher education was Virginia, where only 28.5% of the schools surveyed received a red light and 43% received a green light.

College Students Heading Back to School Should Beware of Threats to Liberty on Campus

September 3, 2011 Comments off

College Students Heading Back to School Should Beware of Threats to Liberty on Campus
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

As college students head back to campus this fall, they will be returning to fewer unconstitutional and illiberal speech codes than at any time in the last five years. However, they face new threats to their fundamental freedoms through coercive freshman orientation programs, limits on religious liberty, and new federal regulations that compromise the rights of those accused of some campus crimes. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) stands ready with resources to help those plagued by campus censorship and injustice in the coming year.

According to FIRE’s report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2011: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses, 67% of the nation’s largest and most prestigious campuses currently have speech codes that violate the First Amendment or their own promises of free speech—a decrease of 4% from last year and down from 75% four years ago. While far too many schools still censor student speech, the decrease in such institutions has been slow but real.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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