Free speech for college students remains work in progress

After a series of tense confrontations over conservative speakers on college campuses, a number of states passed free speech laws to prevent students from disrupting the speeches. But some are concerned that the new laws are heavy-handed. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which defends campus free speech rights, expressed misgivings about such provisions as mandatory punishments for free speech infractions. (Inside Higher Education, September 16, 2019, by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf)

Sixty-six higher institutions have adopted a statement developed at the University of Chicago, know as the Chicago Statement, affirming the principles of free expression on campus. By endorsing the statement, an institution makes its position clear on free speech and also enables it to establish its independence of extremist views. (The Heartland Institute, September 13, 2019, by Harry Painter)

Williams College philosophy professor Steven B. Garrard, Bloomberg Opinion, September 9, 2019, did not find smooth going in proposing his college adopt the Chicago Statement. He felt confident after he taught a course on free speech during which students came to sound positions on protecting speech, but when he went to the faculty, there was no consensus.

For other FAC coverage on the issue, click here, here and here.