The Eternally Radical Idea

To give some background, in July the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to UA President Robert Witt protesting the University’s draft policy that would have banned window displays that were “inconsistent with accepted standards.” We also said this policy was apparently in response to an attempt by students to hang a... Read more Read more


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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education has issued a landmark letter of clarification that deals a powerful blow to administrative censors on America’s college and university campuses. The July 28, 2003, letter from Gerald A. Reynolds, assistant secretary of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education,... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Five years ago, a higher-education editor for The New York Times informed one of us, Harvey Silverglate, that Neil L. Rudenstine — then president of Harvard University — had insisted that Harvard did not have, much less enforce, any “speech codes.” Silverglate suggested the editor dig deeper, because virtually any undergraduate could contest the president’s... Read more Read more


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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTSTHE ASSISTANT SECRETARY July 28, 2003 Dear Colleague: I am writing to confirm the position of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education regarding a subject which is of central importance to our government, our heritage of freedom, and our way of... Read more Read more


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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY July 28, 2003 Dear Colleague: I am writing to confirm the position of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education regarding a subject which is of central importance to our government, our heritage of freedom, and our way... Read more Read more


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July 15, 2003 President Robert E. Witt University of Alabama Box 870100 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0100 Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (205-348-8377) Dear President Witt, As you can see from our Directors and Board of Advisors, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties,... Read more Read more


Press Releases

FIRE Continues Assault against Speech Codes on Public Campuses   LUBBOCK, TX—Today, June 12, 2003, FIRE launched the third legal challenge in its campaign against speech codes that prohibit constitutionally protected speech at public colleges and universities. Jason W. Roberts, a student at Texas Tech University, sued that public institution because of policies that violate... Read more Read more


Press Releases

GLENDORA, CA—FIRE has scored the first victory of its campaign against speech codes at public universities. California’s Citrus College abandoned its speech code after attorney Carol A. Sobel, a member of FIRE’s Legal Network, sued on behalf of Chris Stevens, a student. “This is a great day for liberty,” said FIRE Co-Director and Boston attorney... Read more Read more


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Greg Lukianoff on MSNBC’s Buchanan and Press Transcript, originally aired June 2, 2003 PRESS: Welcome back to BUCHANAN & PRESS. A big debate on college campuses. Should students be allowed to protest wherever they want or protest limited to certain so-called free speech zones? Big lawsuits about that at some campuses, including University of Texas... Read more Read more



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