University ‘Speech Codes’ Under Fire

April 25, 2003

By Sue Collins at Plastic

"Should a university have the right to establish 'speech codes' prescribing how, where, and in some cases, what a student may say?" ms_sue_collins asks. "The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has begun a national campaign against such restrictions, saying that they amount to unconstitutional censorship. The group has filed a federal lawsuit against Shippensburg University in Pennysylvania and its president, Anthony Ceddia, on behalf of two students who wish to remain anonymous. The suit contends that the university's code of conduct has a 'chilling effect' on the students' right to express or discuss their ideas. Although there have been some major legal decisions against such codes, which began to surface on college campuses in the early 80s, FIRE claims that restrictions have 'crept back into the world of higher education where they are very prevalent'; so the group plans to wage an organized legal battle over the next year by filing challenges in each of the 12 federal appellate circuits...

Schools: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Cases: Shippensburg University: Speech Code Litigation