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Most of the top colleges still regulate campus speech, report says

The study of FIRE is that for the 10th year in a row, the percentage of “red light” schools — institutions FIRE says strict restrictive policies — has fallen.

(FIRE)

More than 90 percent of the top U.S. universities have a policy regulating the campus of the freedom of expression, with a third application of highly restrictive policies, according to a recent study.

The foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported on Tuesday that more than half of the 461 schools included in the annual report of the end of the year study limit the freedom of speech in a certain way.

“Despite the importance of free expression on the campus, many universities — in policy and in practice — chill, censor and punish students and teachers’ expressive activity,” the study said. “One way that universities do this is through the use of speech codes: policies prohibiting speech that, outside the boundaries of the campus, would be protected by the First Amendment.”

However, the study also found that for the 10th year in a row, the percentage of “red light” schools — institutions FIRE says strict restrictive policies — has fallen. And the group reported that an unprecedented number of schools have removed all of their speech codes, earning them a “green light” rating.

The majority of the surveyed institutions — 58.6 percent — earned a “yellow light” rating, which means that their policies are “still chill or outright prohibit protected speech.”

(FIRE)

“We are pleased to see that fewer schools are maintaining the most restrictive form of speech codes, but the fact that 90 percent of the schools hold a speech code of a species is still a big problem for free speech.”

– Samantha Harris, vice-president of policy research in FIRE

In her analysis, FIRE found that there is a difference in freedom of speech at public universities versus private ones. The First Amendment generally does not apply to students at private colleges, because of its regulates the government, not private behavior, such as the FIRE.

The group claims that while “most private universities explicitly promise freedom of speech and academic freedom,” their policies often contradict such statements.

FIRE cites-2017 a statement from the University of Georgetown in which the school declares its commitment to the freedom of speech.

“As an institution of higher education, specifically dedicated to the Catholic church and the Jesuits, the tradition, the Georgetown University is committed to free and open research, consultation and debate in all matters, and the unfettered verbal and non-verbal expression of ideas,” the university said in June 2017 and loss account. “It is Georgetown University’s policy to ensure all members of the university community, including faculty, students, and staff, the greatest possible freedom to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn.”

However, Georgetown is indicated with “red light” school by FIRE. The school has a ban on any language that disrespects individuals there: a “civilized” the requirement of the student, the code of conduct that the FIRE eight restrictive to the freedom of speech. But all other conditions to the Georgetown are considered the “gold light” by the FIRE.

Other schools designated as “red light,” American University, Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard, Wesleyan, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Schools listed as “yellow light” are Amherst College, Brown, Columbia, and several public schools such as Colorado State University. “Green light” schools include University of Chicago, the University of Florida and Duke.

“We are pleased to see that fewer schools are maintaining the most restrictive form of speech codes, but the fact that 90 percent of the schools hold a speech code of a species is still a significant problem for freedom of speech,” Samantha Harris, vice-president of policy research at FIRE, said Wednesday.

“In the coming year, we hope even more schools to lift their speech codes at all,” Harris said.

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