Category
Campus Speech

New Report Shows Uptick in Professors Punished for Controversial Speech

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released a report on August 31st highlighting a growing pattern of university students and outside groups calling for schools to punish professors for statements they made on sensitive political issues. The study showed that the number of targeting incidents against professors has risen precipitously since 2015.

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Iowa State University Warns Professors Against Teaching Critical Race Theory in the Classroom

The university claims that the policy is necessary to comply with the state's anti-CRT law. But, Adam Steinbaugh, director of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education’s Individual Rights Defense Program, says the school's policy goes further than the lawmakers intended and violates the First Amendment of faculty and students.

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Catherine and Book

One “Vulgar” Cheerleader Vindicated—But Other Students May Still Face Discipline for Off-Campus Speech

The Supreme Court's ruling in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. was a big victory for cheerleader Brandi Levy. Still, George Washington Law Professor and student speech expert Catherine J. Ross warns that the decision left unanswered many questions regarding school's authority to regulate off-campus speech.

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Minnesota Police Unions’ Call for Student to Face Punishment for Her Anti-Police Comments is Untenable

Two police unions in Minnesota have advocated for a University of Minnesota student government leader to face punishment—both criminally and from within the university—for her anti-police comments. If acted upon, the request would result in a violation of the First Amendment and, in all likelihood, considerable damage in the form of a chilling effect on student discourse.

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USD

Free Speech Groups Call on USD to End Investigation of Law Professor

A professor at the University of San Diego School of Law is being investigated for a blog post he wrote criticizing the Chinese government. The blog post triggered a formal complaint filed by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association calling for Smith’s termination.

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College campus

First Amendment Watch and FIRE Release New Campus Speech Modules

As the end of the current semester quickly approaches, First Amendment Watch and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are already thinking ahead to this fall’s freshman orientation season on America’s college campuses. Use our latest orientation modules to talk about student press freedom and student's online speech rights.

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New Case Tests Bounds of Professor’s Classroom Speech Rights

Nicholas Meriwether, a political philosophy professor at Shawnee State University, sued the institution after he was investigated for refusing to refer to a student by her preferred gender pronouns. The professor claims that doing so would go against his religious beliefs, and sued the school on First Amendment grounds.

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Ole Miss

Hundreds of Academics Sign Open Letter Criticizing University of Mississippi’s Firing of History Professor

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.

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