Saturday, April 12, 2014

College Free Speech Restriction Dealt Possible Blow

"Free Speech Zones" have become increasingly common in the mob-enforced censorship world of American Academia. The totalitarian suppression of any manner of expression that does not conform to the backwards thinking of Western Socialists has manifested itself in the creation of assigned locations on college campuses where pro-life, Christian, pro-Israel, national sovereignty, and other now-verboten speeches and information-giving are allowed to be conducted. These commonly consist of small areas in remote areas of campuses that do not provide for many attendees.

The message behind the establishment of these zones is clear - anything that runs contrary to the "Core Values* (what the faculty and their student-bots approve) of a particular school, is not allowed unless one is willing to be relegated to a specific location.

“Incitement” is another pretext for cracking down on unpopular views. Administrators claim that offensive or provocative speech will “incite” those who disagree with it to violent acts. But the legal meaning of incitement is “advocacy of the use of force or of law violation . . . likely to incite or produce such action.” You cannot “incite” people who disagree with you.........
Evergreen State College promises to stamp out “conduct, speech or expression that is motivated by bias based on perceived race, color, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender expression, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation identities but does not rise to the level of a crime.” That covers a lot. At Clark University, a “hate incident” can even be based on “social/political affiliation.”..........

".......Mr. Lukianoff reports that today’s students often do not understand the importance of this system [That of the protection of free speech] . They are more likely to think that people should be muzzled if that is what it takes for groups from different backgrounds to get along. One 2004 survey of high school students reported that they were “far more likely than adults to think that citizens should not be allowed to express unpopular opinions, and that the government should have a role in approving newspaper stories.”

One recent court case may have put a stop to this sick manner of restriction free expression: 

"The latest in a string of successful court challenges to college "free speech zones" is unfolding in Virginia, where lawyers are negotiating a settlement in the case of a student who was barred from preaching on campus.

The Virginia Community College System has agreed to suspend its student demonstrations policy in response to a lawsuit filed by Thomas Nelson Community College student Christian Parks. Both sides have asked a federal judge in Norfolk to put the case on hold until May 2 while a new policy and settlement details are negotiated.

Judicial history and recent legislative developments suggested Parks had a good chance of prevailing. Over the last dozen years, several similar policies establishing restrictive speech zones at public colleges have been invalidated by courts or changed by officials to settle lawsuits alleging violation of students' First Amendment rights. And on April 4, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation limiting public colleges' restraint on student expression.

"Coast to coast, these kinds of restrictions on student speech are a widespread problem," said Parks' attorney, David Hacker of the Christian legal advocacy organization Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says about six in 10 colleges nationwide have policies that violate First Amendment rights -- and about one in six impose "free speech zones" like the policy at issue in the Virginia case -- even though such restrictions rarely survive constitutional challenges.
In 2002, West Virginia University dropped its free-speech zone policy after being sued by a civil liberties organization. Two years later, a federal judge struck down Texas Tech's policy establishing a 20-foot-wide gazebo as a free-speech zone. Last year, Des Moines Area Community College abandoned a policy restricting student leaflet-distribution activities to a table in the student center. And earlier this year, Modesto Junior College in California agreed to drop its free-speech zone and pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a student who was barred from distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day.

Free-speech advocates find it troubling that, despite the court rulings, many public colleges persist in squelching student expression.

"Colleges and universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas and should be encouraging debate," Hacker said. Instead, he said, too many are worried about offending someone........."


*One should note the term "core values" as used in the quote from the school in which they explained why they chose to cancel her invitation. "Core Values" is the new litmus test for anyone who is allowed to participate or even - as we saw in the case of Mozilla's co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich, be allowed to keep his job. Core Values encompasses any cause that the left holds dear. If you oppose the maltreatment of girls and women that is common in Islam, do not support the desecration of marriage and the massive overreach of governmental authority that codifies marriages between members of the same gender, or take any position that runs contrary to what the Left cherishes, you are in opposition to the Core Values of a slew of organizations in the United States. Core Values is the new "Americanism" is our dystopian world.

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