Universities are places that encourage critical thinking and healthy discussions which allow students to talk freely about different ideas and ideologies. However, many campuses around the country are asking their students, faculty, and staff to report one another, for bias speech, whether it is protected by the First Amendment or not.
Adam Steinbaugh, investigative reporter for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), researched dozens of schools and more that 230 reports to their “Bias Response Teams”.
He described that many universities have expanded their definition of “bias” to include speech that offends anyone.
For example, at Appalachian State University, students reported fellow classmates for both pro-Trump, considered “hate speech”, and anti-Trump messages, labeled unlawful “politically biased slander.”
Students at Ohio State University reported each other for comparing Hillary Clinton to Hitler, students at Texas Tech were whispering to administrators that the Black Student Union’s tweets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement offended them.
Those students or faculty accused of bias speech are usually “educated about how their words upset someone” by an administrator part of their “Bias Response Team”.
One professor at the University of Northern Colorado, who encouraged a discussion about transgender rights among his students:
[was] warned … that discussing such issues might result in lengthy investigations.
One of the freedoms that characterizes the US is that people can express themselves freely without interference or constraint. Unfortunately, students and faculty members are facing trouble expressing their ideas on their campuses, a place meant to promote healthy discussions and free exchange of ideas. Now… how do we fix this?
Read full article at The Washington Examiner
Read the full report and more reported incidents at The FIRE