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ERIC Number: ED536998
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2010: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (NJ1)
Each year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) conducts a rigorous survey of restrictions on speech at America's colleges and universities. The survey and resulting report explore the extent to which schools are meeting their legal and moral obligations to uphold students' and faculty members' rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and private conscience. This year's report examines the restrictions on speech that are in force at a large sample of American colleges and universities and identifies emergent trends within the data. The report also addresses recent developments regarding free speech in the university setting, drawing from FIRE's research on university policies and from cases that FIRE has handled over the past academic year. Some highlights from this year's research include: (1) New York University prohibits "insulting, teasing, mocking, degrading or ridiculing another person or group"; (2) Keene State College in New Hampshire prohibits any "language that is sexist and promotes negative stereotypes and demeans members of the community"; and (3) Southwest Minnesota State University vaguely prohibits speech "which attempts to demean or devalue a person's inherent worth and human dignity." FIRE hopes that by exposing the magnitude of the threat to free speech on the American college campus, it will draw increased public attention to the problem and inspire solutions. After all, 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 50 footnotes.) [For the 2009 edition of this report, see ED536997.]
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