“hate speech, disparaging comments, epithets, or slurs which create a hostile environment”
Who gets to decide which words are disparaging? Isn’t that a rather subjective thing?
Campus Reform reports:
‘Disparaging comments’ outlawed at Illinois college
Students at Carl Sandburg College could now be subject to “disciplinary proceedings” for the use of “offensive language” or “hate speech.”
According to the Illinois community college’s Student Code of Conduct, administrators “may initiate disciplinary proceedings against” a student who “is verbally abusive; threatens; uses offensive language; intimidates; engages in bullying, cyber bullying, or hazing; [or] uses hate speech, disparaging comments, epithets, or slurs which create a hostile environment.”
In addition, the Code of Conduct allows school officials to punish any student who “initiates or participates in incidents of bias and hate crimes.”
Sam Harris, vice president of policy research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), told Campus Reform that the restrictive policy would earn the school FIRE’s notorious red light rating, which is reserved for institutions with “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”
“A public school certainly cannot punish students for any and all ‘offensive language’ or ‘disparaging comments,’ nor is ‘hate speech’ a legally cognizable category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment,” Harris explained, noting that “while some speech that is offensive or hateful may also constitute threats, harassment, etc., and for that reason be unprotected, most offensive [or] hateful speech is wholly protected by the First Amendment.”
Harris went on to suggest that Carl Sandburg College, as a public institution, could be “highly vulnerable” to a lawsuit if it continues to uphold the cited policy.
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