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Forget Free Speech–We’re After Harassment

November 1, 2013

by KC Johnson

A few months ago, a lawyer for the State University of New York (SUNY) penned a startling column about the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) "blueprint," introduced for the University of Montana as a national model for dealing with sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus. In the "blueprint," the OCR required the university to investigate--and report to the government--all allegations of sexual harassment, including speech protected by the First Amendment and potentially in-class discussions of topics with a sexual theme that happened to make a single student uncomfortable. Despite the document's egregious disregard for First Amendment and due process protections, the surprising column by Andrea Stagg, an associate counsel in the SUNY Office of General Counsel, blithely urged people not to worry...