Richard Bugg, a theater professor at Southern Utah University filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Utah Aug. 31. Bugg, represented by attorney Jerry Mooney with financial support from the FIRE Faculty Legal Defense Fund, argues that he is “opposed to the coercion of speech that is taking place on our campus and on most campuses,” the lawsuit stated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.