FIRE Defends Free Speech Over Memorial Day Weekend
May 27, 2006
by Robert Shibley
FIRE is defending campus freedom of speech all over the place this Memorial Day weekend! First, FIRE’s president, Greg Lukianoff, will be on MSNBC Live at 1:15 this Sunday to discuss the disturbing rise in reports of censorship of student’s speech on websites like MySpace.com and Facebook.com. As those who follow FIRE’s work may know, FIRE recently helped clear a student at the University of Central Florida
who was brought up on harassment charges for calling a student government candidate “a Jerk and a Fool.”
FIRE is seeing increasingly numerous reports of students getting in trouble for on line speech at other schools across the country, including Syracuse University
, where students who created a Facebook group to make fun of a teaching assistant were expelled from the class and placed on “disciplinary reprimand.” Also, two students at Cowley College
in Kansas were banned from participating in theater department activities after they complained about the theater department on a MySpace blog. These examples are only part of the notable increase FIRE has observed in reports of students being punished for their speech on the internet at both the college and high school level. In fact, I can recall at least half a dozen case submissions in the last six months alone that had something to do with speech on the Internet.
Just a few hours later, Greg will be interviewed on The Ken Gallacher Show, (KFI 640 AM, Los Angeles, Calif., 6:30 p.m. ET) about the chilling effects of political correctness on campus speech.
On Memorial Day, Americans pause to remember those who gave their lives in order to protect our nation and our fundamental freedoms. FIRE is honored to be working for those same freedoms this Memorial Day weekend. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day, and tune in if you can!