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ERIC Number: ED536996
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2007: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (NJ1)
Last year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) conducted its first-ever comprehensive study of restrictions on speech at America's colleges and universities, "Spotlight on Speech Codes 2006: The State of Free Speech on our Nation's Campuses." In light of the essentiality of free expression to a truly liberal education, its findings were deeply disappointing. Between September 2005 and September 2006, FIRE surveyed over 330 schools and found that over 68 percent of those schools explicitly prohibited speech that, outside the borders of campus, is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This year, FIRE is proud to present its second annual report on the state of speech codes on America's college campuses. This year's report contains data on additional public universities; it also added enrollment data to the information it collected on colleges and universities to give a clearer idea of the sheer number of students affected by restrictive speech codes. Some highlights from this year's research include: (1) Northeastern University in Boston prohibits students from using the university's information systems to "[t]ransmit or make accessible material, which in the sole judgment of the University is offensive..."; (2) Florida Gulf Coast University prohibits "expressions deemed inappropriate"; and (3) At The Ohio State University, students in the residence halls are instructed: "Do not joke about differences related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, socioeconomic background, etc." 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 magnitude 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. Appended are: (1) States by Geographic Region; and (2) Schools by Rating. (Contains 8 figures and 8 footnotes.) [For the 2006 edition of this report, see ED536995.]
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