Education Colleges Learn Risks of Curbing Free Speech

July 8, 2014

By Bob Kellogg at OneNewsNow

During its fifteenth anniversary of fighting for free speech rights on college campuses, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education filed four lawsuits in one day.

F.I.R.E. is coordinating lawsuits against Ohio University, Chicago State University, Iowa State University and Citrus College in California. Litigation Coordinator Catherine Sevcenko explains the strategy behind this new effort at curbing unconstitutional speech policies.

“We have sort of hit a core of universities that seem to think that they don’t have to worry about their unconstitutional policies,” she says. “And so we are trying to change that calculus.”

She says the Stand Up for Speech Litigation Project is trying to make colleges and universities aware of the real cost of ignoring First Amendment Rights.

“This is just a question of making sure that when they are doing their risk management analysis that they understand the chances of a lawsuit, which they have assumed to be have been very small up until now – well, that chance just grew,” she tells OneNewsNow.

Sevcenko says of the 400 schools F.I.R.E. rates, the percentage of schools with unconstitutional speech policies has dropped from around 80% just a couple years ago to 58% today.

Schools: Ohio University Chicago State University Citrus College Iowa State University Cases: FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project Citrus College – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Chicago State University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Iowa State University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit Ohio University – Stand Up For Speech Lawsuit