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Survey: 90% of Universities Restrict Free Speech

Survey: 90% of Universities Restrict Free Speech

28.5% of the universities have “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

A survey from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that nine out of ten universities in America restrict free speech. From The College Fix:

“FIRE encourages colleges and universities to revise all policies that regulate expression so that they only ban expression that is not protected by the First Amendment, such as harassment or threats, as legally defined,” Laura Beltz, senior program officer for FIRE and lead author of the study, told The College Fix in an email.

However, there is some good news, the education watchdog group reports as part of its “Spotlight on Speech Codes 2019: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses.”

A growing number of schools have either improved their speech codes, or have adopted or endorsed the “Chicago Statement” of free speech principles. Nevertheless, there is much more work to be done.

“Though these improvements in policy are heartening, free speech on campus remains under threat. Demands for censorship of student and faculty speech—whether originating on or off campus—are common, and universities continue to investigate and punish students and faculty over protected expression,” FIRE’s report states.

The report found that 28.5 percent of schools have a “red light” rating for their speech codes. A “red light” rating is defined as the college having “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

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