This Week in FIRE News: Reactions to ‘Firefly’ Censorship and SHSU ‘Box Cutter’ Cases

October 1, 2011

On Monday morning we reported that University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS) professor James Miller has been censored twice, reported to the university’s "threat assessment team," and threatened with criminal charges because of satirical postings outside his office door. 

The first poster depicted a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly. After taking it down, the UWS Chief of Police threatened Miller with criminal charges for disorderly conduct if he posted similar content in the future. After UWS censored his second poster, which satirically stated, "Warning: Fascism," Miller came to FIRE for help. 

On Wednesday, we reported that the chancellor of UWS has declared that he will not defend faculty First Amendment rights from censorship, in an email sent to all UWS faculty and staff. UWS’s claim continues to be that "the posters in question constituted an implied threat of violence. That is why they were removed."

Between this and the absurd act of censorship involving a "free speech wall" and a box cutter at Sam Houston State University, FIRE news has made countless headlines this week. Here’s a recap:

On the Firefly censorship:

On the Sam Houston State University Free Speech Wall vandalism:

On the University of California, Berkeley "Affirmative Action Bake Sale":

On the controversy over religious student groups at Vanderbilt University:

On the University of Georgia’s unconstitutional "free speech zone" policy: