Next fall, when you’re preparing to pack someone off to college, we recommend that one additional item be added to the list of essentials — FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus.
It’s a thorough, informative, nonpartisan primer on the First Amendment, particularly as it relates to campus speech codes and political correctness, published by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (www.thefire.org). FIRE is on the front lines of defending the political and religious liberties of college students.
The guide is one in a series, dealing with everything from religious liberty to due process to legal equality on campus, written to help college students understand and defend their freedoms. And FIRE provides the guides free to college students and at a nominal cost to all others. One can be acquired by visiting thefireguides.org.
And why not get a copy for yourself while you’re at it? Not only will you come away from reading the book with a better understanding of the assault free speech is under on so many college campuses, but you’ll benefit from a bracing refresher course in First Amendment theory and history.
FIRE’s governing board is politically diverse, including conservatives such as former Attorney General Ed Meese and liberals such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, demonstrating that the group is more interested in defending constitutional principles than advancing a partisan agenda.
Given the numerous controversies swirling around campus speech these days, here in Arizona and elsewhere, perhaps FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus should be made required reading for everyone who attends, teaches at, administers, oversees or pays for our colleges and universities.