ERIC Number: ED392098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov-17
Reference Count: N/A
University Hate Speech Codes: Toward an Approach Restricting Verbal Attack.
This paper reviews events leading to the University of Michigan speech codes, identifies the state of the law following the Doe v. the University of Michigan decision, points out problems in suggested alternatives to the code, and outlines an approach that protects students from hate speech while maintaining first amendment rights. The paper first provides a historical context for the consideration of speech codes by citing these events: (1) following a number of hateful acts at the University of Michigan, the United Coalition against Racism threatened to sue the university for not maintaining or creating a nonracist environment; (2) the university responded with a speech code, but the code was soon challenged in court by a biopsychology student who maintained that the code could sanction him for aspects of his research; and (3) federal courts ruled in favor of the student on the basis that the code was too broad and that university officials had attempted to enforce it in inappropiate situations. Noting that some have used the court's decision to argue against the implementation of any speech codes on college campuses, the paper argues that the problem is not speech codes in general but the inspecific nature of the Michigan code in particular. The paper concludes that alternatives to speech codes are not convincing, since verbally assaulted students are not in a position to fight back, especially if they do not feel the university stands with them against racism and hate. (Contains 53 references). (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: First Amendment; Hate Speech; Politically Correct Communication; Speech Codes; University of Michigan
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (81st, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1995).