First Amendment Watch and FIRE Launch Campus Free Speech Orientation Program
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
Police Arrest Two Students at the University of Connecticut for Using a Racial Slur
While the boys’ language was undoubtedly offensive, civil liberties groups say the statute used to arrest them is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.
Bakery Awarded $44 Million in Total Damages in Defamation Suit Against Oberlin College
A jury in Ohio awarded $33 million in punitive damages to a local bakery that had sued Oberlin College for libel and slander. The complaint filed in Ohio state court in November 2017, alleged that Oberlin was complicit in supporting and encouraging student protests against Gibson’s bakery following the arrests of three African American students. Oberlin students began protesting the store, passing out fliers calling the bakery “a racist establishment with a long account of racial profiling and discrimination.”
Student Protesters at Harvard Disrupt Discussion And Cause Venue Change
In early April, a group of student protesters at Harvard disrupted a discussion between two administrators who were going to […]
Conservative Speaker Heckled at CUNY Law Raising Campus Speech Concerns
Recently CUNY Law students shouted down Professor Josh Blackman causing debate among First Amendment scholars. In our Spotlight on campus speech, "Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech" we discuss how U.S. campuses have been hotbeds of political and social debate since the colonial era. By the 1960s, rising civil unrest buoyed the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley. As protests spread, universities and law enforcement cracked down leading to fatalities in separate incidents at Kent State University and Jackson State University. Today campus protests are once again eliciting an escalated police presence. Both public and private universities are struggling how to balance the free exchange of ideas, but public universities have a legal obligation to protect campus freedom of expression. What does this mean for students, campus free speech and speaker’s right to free speech when it is suppressed by the fear of disruption?