Some colleges need to take free-speech classes, according to survey
December 21, 2012
by Tom Bray
The Watchdog Blog
Many of America’s colleges appear to need to take a few courses in free speech.
More than 60 percent of the 400-plus colleges and universities studied by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have policies that restrict students’ First Amendment rights.
In a report released this week, FIRE also raised concern over federal and state regulations governing bullying and harassment that the report labeled sloppily written and implemented.
To be fair, FIRE acknowledged that the number of schools with “red light” free-speech codes has declined for the fifth straight year. And more schools eliminated their restrictive speech policies in 2012, earning FIRE’s “green light” rating.
FIRE is a nonprofit foundation which recruits experts in civil rights and civil liberties, journalists, and public intellectuals to support the rights to freedom of expression, academics and due process at U.S. colleges and universities. Each year, they study schools’ policies as part of its mission.
Highlights from this year’s survey