By Hoppy Kercheval at WV MetroNews
This is Free Speech Week, a time to, according to organizers,“raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in our democracy and to celebrate that freedom.”
College campuses are perfect forums to exercise free speech, to stretch the limits with contrasting, provocative and even revolutionary ideas, allowing them to rise or fall based on their merits.
Unfortunately, too many colleges and universities are headed in just the opposite direction.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports at least 240 instances within the last decade where students and/or faculty made concerted efforts to block speakers because they thought their views objectionable.
Just last week, the invitation to conservative author Suzanne Venker to speak at Williams College in Massachusetts was rescinded by the student group that invited her because other students objected to her controversial views on feminism.*
The student newspaper, The Record, supported the move. “The college should not allow speech that challenges fundamental human rights and devalues people based on their identity markers… It is possible that some speech is too harmful to invite to campus. The college should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities...