On college campuses, long-simmering tensions are erupting in violence and shattering the sense of safety that makes colleges hubs of free discourse.
Two Florida bills filed by State Rep. Alex Andrade, a Gov. Ron DeSantis ally, on the same day in late February represent “a full-fledged assault on the First Amendment,” says Bobby Block, executive director of the First Amendment Foundation.
A federal judge ruled Jan. 12 that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration did not violate an order blocking the academic provision of the “Stop WOKE” Act, which restricts race-based discussions in higher education classrooms.
A federal appeals court held that a California public high school was within its rights after it disciplined two former students for creating and interacting with an Instagram account that shared posts targeting their Black classmates.
Florida’s “Stop WOKE” Act has ignited fear and outrage from public university educators as a federal judge decides whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the law’s academic provision which would restrict gender and race-centric discussions and teachings in the classroom.
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.
As you begin your college career, you should take time to consider what sort of campus culture you would like to help foster, and whether open discourse and debate are important to you and your educational goals. This module offers students three arguments students can use to convince others to look for solutions to problems that involve more speech, rather than censorship.
These frequently asked questions and answers provide the basic information incoming students need to know about how the First Amendment applies to speech on campus. This FAQ is meant to be used as a reference for students, which administrators can link to or copy for their own sites. FIRE and First Amendment Watch are available to help adapt the language to best suit a particular campus’s needs.