More than a thousand professors and graduate students have pledged not to speak at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) until the administration provides a “full and transparent” account of the events that led to the firing of Garrett Felber, a well-regarded history professor.
The report details 35 incidents of universities punishing students or faculty for speech online, and 10 universities with policies in place that FIRE says give administrators “immense power to punish large swaths of speech.” According to the advocacy group, many public universities are acting like the First Amendment applies differently to online speech.
At least two universities have postponed activities that may violate the President Sept. 22 directive against "race and sex stereotyping." It's likely more will opt to cancel activities, rather than risk being cut off from federal funds.
The 21-year-old claims he is being singled out because of his political beliefs, and that students who wrote posts advocating for violence against police officers were not punished. Though the First Amendment generally protects public university student's right to express themselves online, experts say the extent of those protections may be different in the context of military institutions.
The newspaper sued the university after the student government passed a bill excluding media student groups from accessing activity funds. The legislation was passed just days after the paper published a controversial article satirizing safe spaces.
Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, students claim their school's policies limit spontaneous expression, and leave them vulnerable to viewpoint discrimination.
On May 5th, the Knight Foundation and Gallup released the 2020 First Amendment on Campus report, an online survey of more than 3,000 full-time undergraduate students, and a large cohort of students from historically black colleges and universities. The First Amendment survey began in the spring of 2016, and the respondents for the 2020 report were queried in the fall of 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
First Amendment Watch and FIRE are proud to launch a freshman orientation program aimed at teaching incoming college students about their free speech rights on campus. We've developed a series of modules for universities to utilize during freshman orientation, first-year seminars, and other campus programming to teach new college students about their rights and about common free speech issues they may encounter during their time in school