Tufts University: Use of Sexual Harassment Allegations to Suppress Protected Speech

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Tufts University

A hearing panel at Tufts University unanimously voted to dismiss charges of sexual harassment against a student newspaper that had satirized a campus student leader. The Primary Source, a student publication that describes itself as the “Journal of Conservative Thought at Tufts University,” turned to FIRE after an undergraduate student filed charges against the paper with both the Dean of Students and the Office of Equal Opportunity, claiming that a cartoon and written remarks in the journal of opinion had made her into a “sex object.” In response, FIRE wrote to the administration, reminding them of two prior free speech cases at Tufts where FIRE successfully intervened.

  • Free Speech Victory at Tufts University: Charges of “Sexual Harassment” against Student Newspaper Dismissed

    November 27, 2001

    MEDFORD, MA—In a unanimous vote, a hearing panel at Tufts University voted to dismiss charges of sexual harassment against a student newspaper that had satirized a campus student leader. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) advised the paper’s editors and communicated vigorously with the administration on their behalf. Thor Halvorssen, Executive Director of FIRE, said: “We are delighted that Tufts chose not to trample on the principles of free speech. This is a victory for everyone who values genuine pluralism.” In a case that illustrates the threat to liberty posed by speech codes, The Primary Source, a student […]

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