FIRE, joined by coalition of free speech advocates, files amici curiae brief in Feminist Majority Foundation v. University of Mary Washington
Yesterday, FIRE―joined by the Cato Institute, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Professor Nadine Strossen―filed an amici curiae brief in the case of Feminist Majority Foundation v. University of Mary Washington. FIRE’s brief urges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to uphold a district court’s ruling that the University of Mary Washington and its former president did not violate the plaintiffs’ civil rights in its handling of a series of hostile social media posts.
The controversy giving rise to this case began in late 2014, when the student plaintiffs in this case—members [...] » Read More
This special, one-day event offers students a thorough review of their right to free expression, focusing on the principles of free speech, the parameters of First Amendment law, and the best strategies for campus action. Attendees will learn about the evolution of free speech and the proliferation of unconstitutional campus speech codes.
The conference will feature a keynote address from Ken White, a partner at Brown White & [...] » Read More
The University of Alabama was rocked on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year when Instagram videos surfaced of UA student Harley Barber unleashing a torrent of racial slurs. Predictably, the internet erupted with shock (or lack thereof) and calls for Barber’s expulsion.
UA quickly denounced the videos and announced that the incident had been referred to the Office of Student Conduct:
These remarks are ignorant and disturbing and in no way reflect the values of The University of Alabama. This unfortunate behavior has been reported to the Office of Student Conduct as it does not align with the [...] » Read More
In an order issued yesterday, a federal district court denied Los Angeles Community College District and Pierce College administrators’ motion to dismiss student Kevin Shaw’s First Amendment lawsuit.» Read More
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees will consider a policy revision at a meeting later this month that would restrict how university employees engage in political activity. The policy, called “Institutional Authority on Political Matters,” unnecessarily restricts faculty political expression and needs some revisions before being adopted.
For example, the policy would prevent faculty from using “UMS or university . . . computers, copiers, email, UMS- or university-issued cell phones and other communications equipment . . .” when engaging in political activity. While it may be legitimate to prohibit employees from using university resources like copy paper [...] » Read More
This is the last installment in a series of posts delving into the results of FIRE’s “Speaking Freely” report on college students’ attitudes toward expression on American campuses. In this post, we highlight partisan differences in students’ attitudes toward campus guest speakers and disinvitations.
In 2016, Gallup, the Knight Foundation, and the Newseum Institute surveyed American adults and college students on their views toward freedom of expression. They found that support for the liberties protected by the First Amendment is strong among college students, and “partisan differences in views [toward] the security of First Amendment [...] » Read More
We know our work defending student and faculty rights on campus matters to you, and we want to ensure you don’t miss any important news from FIRE.
Social media is a great way to keep up with our newest victories and campaigns, but Facebook is making some changes to its News Feed so that users will see more posts from their Facebook friends, and fewer posts from pages like FIRE’s. However, you can ensure you don’t miss any updates simply by following the instructions in the image below.
In addition to following FIRE on [...] » Read More
A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education lays bare why the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is broken and provides a roadmap for fixing it.
In the article, FIRE’s Zach Greenberg describes why FERPA is in dire need of revision:
[I]n its current form, Ferpa is a privacy statute that doesn’t protect privacy, a rights statute that creates no enforceable rights, and an access statute that allows colleges to conceal information that would invite bad press. It has been invoked to stifle police investigations into campus crime and cover up scandal after scandal concerning college athletics, [...] » Read More
As our nation takes the day to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for those of us at FIRE it’s worth pausing once again to consider the contributions of the movement King came to represent to the conception of First Amendment and due process rights FIRE continues to defend today. The reality is that FIRE would not and could not exist if not for two movements. First is the Enlightenment, which brought us (among many other things) the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the idea — enshrined in our founding documents, if not [...] » Read More
Last week, Nebraska State Senator Steve Halloran introduced LB 718, the “Higher Education Free Speech Accountability Act.” If signed into law, the bill will protect free speech rights of students at institutions of higher education in Nebraska.
The Higher Education Free Speech Accountability Act would require public colleges and universities in Nebraska to promulgate policies that echo the Chicago Statement, including a provision stating that a “campus must strive to ensure the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression.” The bill would also prevent colleges from disinviting outside speakers invited by students or student groups. Importantly, [...] » Read More