Alert Lets Colleges Know Of Need For Change In Speech Policies

March 20, 2015

By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow

Unconstitutional speech policies at a couple of southern universities are being tagged with “red light” ratings from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Azhar Majeed of FIRE says the prohibitive policy at Athens State University in Alabama prevents students from transmitting anything online deemed to be “threatening,” “sexist,” “offensive,” or even “annoying.”

“And so these are very broad terms,” Majeed says. “These are broad regulations and they cut out and make punishable a great deal of student speech that’s protected by the First Amendment.”

As a result of the letter sent by FIRE, Majeed says the University of Mississippi – better known as Ole Miss – has reached out to them for help with its bad speech policies.

“So I certainly commend them on that,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Unfortunately, they do have some ground to cover because they have a number of red light policies, which are clearly unconstitutional policies, as rated by FIRE. And then in addition, they have a number of yellow light policies.” (See FIRE’s speech code ratings)

FIRE sent letters to 300 colleges and universities last September, warning them they could be in violation of the First Amendment.

Schools: Athens State University