DEMAND THE END OF FREE SPEECH ZONES AND SPEECH CODES; REMIND COLLEGES TO PROTECT AND ENCOURAGE FREE SPEECH
Co-sponsor the Protect Free Speech on College Campuses Resolution
Deadline to be an original co-sponsor is Friday at 12pm.
Supported by theFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
Today, free speech is under assault on college campuses across our country. Free speech codes, free speech zones, disrupting speakers and general close-mindedness are impinging upon First Amendment rights. Institutions of higher education are supposed to operate as marketplaces of ideas, not sites of restrictions and heavy-handedness.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has found that roughly 1 in 10 of America’s top colleges and universities have free speech zones; that more than 20 speakers were disinvited from speaking on campuses in 2016; and in a survey of 449 schools, found that almost 40 percent maintain severely restrictive speech codes that clearly and substantially prohibit constitutionally protected speech.
Students have been arrested for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution, have assaulted speakers they disagree with, and on some campuses, are relegated to exercising their First Amendment rights to an area that comprises 0.01 percent or less of campus. It seems that every week brings a new story of schools seeking to unduly restrain the freedom for students to exercise this basic right.
While we consider what the appropriate policy response is to what is happening it is a proper first step to express Congress’ disapproval of what is occurring. I invite you to join me as an original co-sponsor of this resolution expressing the sense of Congress that institutions of higher education should facilitate and recommit themselves to protecting and promoting the free and open exchange of ideas. We also express the sense of Congress that free speech zones and free speech codes are inherently at odds with the First Amendment.