This is a repost of my Da Tech Guy weekly column: The Assault on Free Speech on College Campuses
By A.P. Dillon
College campuses, which should be environments that foster difference of opinion, have become increasingly restrictive when it comes to free speech. It’s gotten so bad that apparently, at some colleges, the First Amendment is almost non-existent or at least ignored.
At the end of August, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) produced a video discussing this trend and noted that college campuses (both public and private) had been adopting ‘speech codes’.
Campuses are now instituting “free speech zones”, which are small and often require students to obtain permits just to use them.
Think about that for a second. Your child can’t speak their mind at college unless they get permission. The approved narratives must be maintained. Dissent is not permissible.
FIRE found that 54% of public colleges and 59% of private ones were imposing politically correct speech codes on students. FIRE also notes that ‘thanks to Department of Education guidelines’, 100% of colleges may adopt speech codes in the coming years.
FIRE notes this issue has become so bad that they are having to take schools to court to defending the basic First Amendment rights of students.
That’s beyond horrifying.
Let’s look at two cases from my own state, North Carolina.
There’s the case of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Wrestling coach, C. D. Mock, who was fired after standing up for his son who was falsely accused of rape on a different college campus. Mock spoke out for his son and blogged about what he had learned about the questionable ‘campus rape culture’.
Mock cites that pressure from UNC officials and liberal activists in the area were brought to bear. Excerpt from Mock’s article at the Pope Center:
It is no secret that the administration at UNC greatly opposed my position on their sexual assault policies. Chancellor Carol Folt has been a leader in a national campaign to give accusers unfair advantages in campus proceedings dealing with sexual assault—my stance that the increasing reliance on campus committees and administrators applying affirmative consent standards instead of following due legal process must have rankled her and other key UNC people.
The local activist community also pushed to have me removed. Liberal pollster and blogger Tom Jensen, by his own admission, wrote to my administration demanding my firing and led a letter writing campaign to do just that. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was fired because my views differed from those at the leadership of UNC as well as some highly political people who had influence on UNC leaders and had absolutely nothing to do with my performance as wrestling coach.
Read the whole piece.
Another recent case revolves around a play at Greensboro college. The play was about “sexual harassment and rape” and college campuses. The play is called “It Stops Here”.
Apparently comments were yelled at the actors by the audience.
Local media outlet, MyFox8, quotes the stage manager of the play about the comments yelled out:
“Many of the boys started calling out ‘She wanted it, it’s not rape,’ and making masturbation noises,” said Claire Sellers, stage manager for the play.
Those comments yelled out, according to the stage manager, are clearly meant to disrupt the play and could arguably be a form of push back on the ‘campus rape culture’ hyperbole that is being turned into actual policies.
This is heckling. Rather ugly heckling, but still heckling. You ignore them and move on right?
Wrong. This story gets worse.
“On Thursday, the president of the college sent a letter to students saying that a Title IX investigation had been launched and that the college is pursuing a formal complaint of sexual misconduct.”
Yes, heckling a play is now a subject of a Title IX investigation. Greensboro college is going after the hecklers for ‘sexual misconduct’.
Shut up, they explained…
A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885