Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Campus Speech Codes Beginning to Fall

And I regard that as very good news. Last week, Georgia Tech dropped its speech code as part of a settlement in a lawsuit brought against them by the Alliance Defense Fund (and yes, I will agree with them completely on this one despite my opposition to them in most cases). The same thing happened back in May at Penn State, also in response to a lawsuit filed by the ADF. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) does excellent work in this area, pressuring colleges and universities to drop their unconstitutional speech codes and encourage a freewheeling exchange of ideas on campus. Such codes are too often used to blunt political debate over constitutional issues in the name of protecting favored groups from criticism and insult. In many such battles, I am firmly on the side of those groups against predominately conservative opinion, particularly when it comes to gay rights. I will join them in battling against those ideas, but I will not join them in trying to censor those ideas.

Comments

  1. #1 steve s
    August 24, 2006

    Speech codes result from the totalitarian impulse.

  2. #2 Dan R.
    August 24, 2006

    Thanks for pointing out this good news.

    I see this as kind of a flag burning issue — the left supports flag burning but supports restricting “discriminatory” speech on campus. The right hates flag burning and opposes speech codes.

    I wish they would get over each other and adopt a true view of civil rights/liberties that doesn’t involve censorship, restriction, etc.

  3. #3 stogoe
    August 24, 2006

    Colleges and universities shouldn’t have them, true. But I’m more forgiving in a primary and secondary education setting, where a kid is for all intents and purposes a hostage to the constant harrassment and threats of violence because of superficial differences. They should be skewed toward allowing the most free speech without undue harrasment and anguish, though.

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