FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is featured in the latest issue of Congressional Quarterly Researcher (purchase required), which examines the ongoing debate over how to address harassment and bullying in schools. Going head-to-head with Representative Rush Holt, co-sponsor of the recently proposed "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act," Greg reviews the dangers posed by the rush to legislate. As Greg points out, "Expanding the definition of ‘harassment’ to punish hurtful or insensitive speech on college campuses has been tried again and again over the past three decades with disastrous consequences for free speech."
FIRE has argued in recent weeks that the Clementi case, though tragic, should not serve as justification to weaken the First Amendment rights of students and professors on campus. Greg’s article strongly reinforces FIRE’s argument, reviewing the existing protections against severe harassment and exposing how speech codes have backfired on campus. Elsewhere, in her latest post for The Atlantic, noted civil libertarian and FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer points out that using the Clementi tragedy to enact additional harassment laws is no less than emotional blackmail. In fact, as Greg argues in his article, "There is no need for additional legislation banning bullying or harassment on campus. Rather, the free speech rights of college students are badly in need of increased protection."
The latest issue of Congressional Quarterly Researcher containing Greg’s article can be purchased online.