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ERIC Number: ED536995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec-6
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2006: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (NJ1)
This year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) conducted an expansive study of just how pervasive and how onerous restrictions on speech are at America's colleges and universities. Between September 2005 and September 2006, FIRE surveyed over 330 schools and found that an overwhelming majority of them explicitly prohibit speech that, outside the borders of campus, is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Highlights from FIRE's research include: (1) Davidson College in North Carolina prohibits "comments or inquiries about dating," "patronizing remarks," "innuendoes," and "dismissive comments"; (2) At Jacksonville State University in Alabama, students can be punished if they "offend" anyone "on university owned or operated property"; and (3) At the University of Mississippi, "offensive language is not to be used" over the telephone. This report is intended to serve as a brief guide to the status of the free speech rights of students and faculty at colleges and universities and to the ways in which universities are violating these rights. It is FIRE's hope that by exposing the extent of the problem, it will draw increased public attention to the sad state of free speech on American campuses. Public scrutiny is perhaps the greatest weapon against these abuses. States by Geographical Region are appended. (Contains 7 figures and 8 footnotes.)
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. 601 Walnut Street Suite 510, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-717-3473; Fax: 215-717-3440; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Davis v Monroe County Board of Education; First Amendment