Bergen Community College
Speech Code Rating
- At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
December 8, 2014
On January 12, 2014, Francis Schmidt, an art professor at New Jersey’s Bergen Community College, posted a picture on Google+ of his daughter wearing a T-shirt with a quote from “Game of Thrones.” When the picture was posted, Google+ sent an automatic email to Schmidt’s contacts, including a dean at BCC. BCC administrators told Schmidt… Read more
April 21, 2015
Last night, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced the recipients of the 2015 “Jefferson Muzzle” awards, bestowed upon the worst government censors and punishers of protected speech in the past year. The TJ Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, dedicated to protecting free speech. I worked for… Read more
October 28, 2014
NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2014—In a victory for free speech, New Jersey’s Bergen Community College (BCC) has rescinded its punishment of an art professor it placed on leave and forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation for posting a picture of his daughter wearing a Game of Thrones T-shirt. After learning of BCC’s outrageous actions, the… Read more
April 23, 2014
Those new to The Torch or to FIRE’s work might be shocked to see that some colleges and universities punish even crystal-clear instances of protected expression. Take, for example, the Game of Thrones T-shirt worn by Bergen Community College (BCC) Professor Francis Schmidt’s daughter, which BCC claimed was a “threat” that warranted punishment. But as ridiculous as cases like this seem, it is critically important to remember that they are not outliers—similarly egregious First Amendment violations happen at campuses across the country. University of Tennessee law professor and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds argues in a column for USA Today published yesterday that Schmidt’s case and similar incidents are a symptom of college administrators growing in number and in power.
April 17, 2014
Yesterday, my colleague Sarah McLaughlin reported on Bergen Community College’s asinine decision to place Professor Francis Schmidt on unpaid leave pending psychiatric evaluation for posting a picture on Google+ of his young daughter wearing a shirt containing a quote from the popular Game of Thrones series.
This morning, facing mounting criticism and bewilderment, BCC doubled down on its claim that administrators were dutifully investigating a possible threat to campus.
April 16, 2014
Brace yourselves; censorship is coming!
Displaying a lack of both pop culture and First Amendment awareness, administrators at Bergen Community College in New Jersey placed Professor Francis Schmidt on leave this past January, requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus—just for posting a picture of his daughter in a T-shirt quoting the popular HBO television show Game of Thrones.
November 18, 2009
The Rise, Persistence, And Prevalence Of Campus Speech Codes
March 24, 2009
In cases of campus speech restrictions, the path to censorship is paved with seemingly benign intent: see, for instance, bans on "rude, disrespectful behavior," as in the case of Johns Hopkins University (covered extensively yesterday by Samantha). Yet the inherent conflict between free speech and open inquiry on one hand and enforcing "civility" on the… Read more
January 15, 2008
One of the defining characteristics of modern American society seems to be the affinity those in positions of power seem to have for “addressing” various problems by instituting measures that only on the most superficial level appear appropriate for a given situation. The most apparent manifestation of this problem is, of course, in airport security…. Read more
January 15, 2008
The media continues to show interest in the unconstitutional, mandatory loyalty oath that was proposed at Bergen Community College. Today, Wendy Kaminer came out with a hard-hitting piece in The Phoenix criticizing the proposal. Hopefully, continued pressure from the media will help ensure that this oath never becomes a reality.
January 14, 2008
The proposed loyalty oath at Bergen Community College (BCC) continues to make news, with Inside Higher Ed running an article today. For those who are reading about this for the first time, the proposed oath is as follows: In the full knowledge of the commitment that I am freely willing to undertake as a student,… Read more
January 11, 2008
Today at Newsday.com, Samantha is quoted in an article about faculty opposition to a proposed “code of ethics pledge” at Bergen Community College (BCC). The lead in another article today in The Record, which also quotes Samantha, just about says it all: Bergen Community College wants to require students and staff to pledge to “embrace… Read more