“Muzzle Tov” to Brandeis and Valdosta State from Greg

April 11, 2008

In his latest Huffington Post blog, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff recaps the 2008 Jefferson Muzzle awards, bringing special attention to with “winners” at Brandeis University and Valdosta State University. He also puts in an early nomination for 2009’s Muzzles:

Finally, while I know it’s only April, I already have two nominations for next year’s Jefferson Muzzles. First, I would like to nominate Colorado College, where administrators have used tragic school shootings of recent years as justification for finding two students guilty of “violence” for posting a flyer making fun of another flyer. I ask readers once again to compare these flyers side by side and tell me if they feel endangered by either.

But most of all, I would like to nominate Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) where a student employee reading a book called Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan was found guilty of “racial harassment.” Why? Because the book — which celebrated the defeat of the Klan by Notre Dame students in a 1928 street clash — apparently had pictures of Klansmen on the cover. Despite utterly misunderstanding the book’s premise — not to mention the entirety of both harassment and First Amendment law — the school’s finding against the student-employee has yet to be repealed. Surely that qualifies IUPUI as an early season favorite for a 2009 Muzzle.

Read Greg’s entire blog here.

Schools:  Brandeis University Valdosta State University Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Colorado College

Cases:  Colorado College: Students Found Guilty for Satirical Flyer Brandeis University: Professor Found Guilty of Harassment for Protected Speech Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis: Student Employee Found Guilty of ‘Racial Harassment’ for Reading a Book Valdosta State University: Student Expelled for Peacefully Protesting Parking Garages