NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.
Do you have a right not to be offended, ever, by anything anyone else says or does? If you find someone boorish, insensitive or prejudiced, can you just say you’re offended and — poof — that person disappears?
Pretty much, yes. If you’re at college and you’re offended by someone’s remark of a sexual nature, that is now enough to get that person kicked off campus.
For this, we must thank the federal departments of Justice and Education, which earlier this month jointly issued a new “blueprint” for colleges and universities, which defines harassment down. Before, harassment was defined as something “objectively offensive” — something a reasonable person would find completely unconscionable. Now? Any “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” is considered harassment, including unwelcome speech...