Given what we’ve seen unfolding on college campuses in recent years, can anyone blame conservative students for being afraid to speak out?

PJ Media reports:

Conservative Students Fear Intense Backlash for Talking Politics, Study Finds

Conservative students fear the most backlash for sharing their political views, according to a new study conducted by Heterodox Academy, a group of professors working to support viewpoint diversity in academia. “Our preliminary results suggest that students fear discussing racial issues the most and that their greatest concern is criticism from their peers,” writes Sean Stevens, the group’s research director.

According to the study, conservative kids are the most likely to fear that their political views could be criticized as “offensive,” and they are most likely to fear retaliation from professors in the form of lower grades.

Conservative students also indicate the most fear of being reported to the administration for thought-crime, according to the results. This means students don’t just fear social backlash, but administrative punishment, too. Considering that most colleges have mechanisms to sanction wrong-thinkers, students have a valid concern.

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Higher Education (FIRE), almost 40 percent of colleges in the U.S have “severely restrictive” speech policies designed to prevent offensive remarks on the basis of race, gender, and class. An expression of conservative views (for example: that illegal immigration poses a serious threat to the country) could easily be considered a violation of policy at many of these schools, if overheard by a liberal student.