School Reminded What Free Speech Is All About

December 21, 2015

By Bob Kellogg at

Dozens of former editors of the student newspaper at Wesleyan University have signed an open letter in defense of the publication’s free-speech rights.

Earlier this month, more than 50 former editors of The Wesleyan Argus sent an open letter urging the student association to restore the funding cut from the newspaper’s budget in October. Ari Cohn with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says students were offended by an editorial critical of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

“The shared experience and the lessons learned from more than 50 former editors should be a wake-up call to the student government when they’re considering the impact of what they’ve done,” Cohn suggests.

He says students today haven’t been taught how to respond when confronted with ideas with which they disagree.

“We’ve taught our students from a young age that the world is a big, scary place full of big, scary ideas – and they’re not equipped to handle it and to confront those issues,” he states. “Of course, they seek protection from ideas they disagree with instead of actually trying to debate them.”

The letter from the former editors claims the cuts threaten the survival of the paper, which been published without interruption since 1868.

Schools: Wesleyan University