Texas Tech University: Speech Code Litigation

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Texas Tech University

FIRE intervened at Texas Tech when students recognized its overbroad policies, which include a speech code that prohibited "insults," "ridicule," and "personal attacks," and restricted free speech to twenty foot-diameter gazebo referred to as a "Free Speech Zone." With FIRE’s coordination and support, along with the Liberty Legal Institute and the Alliance Defense Fund, the students successfully sought and achieved elimination of the overbroad speech code. Covered widely in the media, the case at Texas Tech also drew support from over 900 students, who signed a petition for free speech on campus, as well as a student organization, Students for Free Speech (SFS), that staged a mock-funeral for free speech, including carrying a wooden coffin through campus in a procession. As FIRE’s third victory in its Speech Code Litigation project, Texas Tech demonstrated once again that courts are ruthlessly intolerant of unconstitutional policies at public universities.