Check out FIRE President Greg Lukianoff’s Huffington Post entry today in which he praises Valdosta State University for the long-awaited dismantling of their free speech zone. Greg points out both how important it is that Valdosta is heading in the right direction, and why free speech on campus is so crucial to our democracy as whole. As Greg notes in the article:
One of the most worrisome questions I receive is, “Why is censorship on campus important?”
Now I understand that in light of fighting two wars and staring down the looming collapse of our economy, campus censorship might strike people as comparatively unimportant. But I also think that it’s crucial for people to understand that students who are educated in an environment of censorship often adopt some very troubling and even undemocratic ideas about free speech.
When students, for example, get together and steal or destroy newspapers that contain ads or articles that they dislike, I have to wonder what raising a generation so used to being censored and relegated to little speech cages means for the future of all of our liberties. As a wise man once said, “A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long preserve it, and will not even know when it has lost it.”
Read Greg’s full piece for more.
Schools: Valdosta State University Cases: Valdosta State University: Freedom of Expression on Campus Limited to Unconstitutional Free Speech Zone Valdosta State University: Student Expelled for Peacefully Protesting Parking Garages