Hampton Administrators Need a Civics Lesson

December 12, 2005

Recently at Hampton University, seven students were punished for distributing anti-Bush flyers without the approval of the university administration. As discussed in FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus, private universities generally have broad discretion when establishing policies that restrict speech on campus. But this power is not always unchecked.


State constitutions usually take a back seat when we discuss civil liberties, but some state courts have interpreted their constitutions to guarantee more freedom than the U.S. Constitution. Hampton administrators should read Article I, Section 12, of the Constitution of Virginia, which states in part: