North Texas Daily

Limiting freedom of speech from campuses

Limiting freedom of speech from campuses

Limiting freedom of speech from campuses
April 07
15:51 2017

The First Amendment of the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Our forefathers gave us the freedom of speech and the right to expiration.

Universities have “free speech zones” so students can express their political opinions without the risk of punishment or government involvement. Taking away a student’s free speech zone will only cause students to rebel.

According to GOPUSA, student Kevin Shaw is suing his community college in California for violating his First Amendment rights. Shaw “was barred from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution because he wasn’t in the free speech zone,” which is only about “the size of three parking spaces.” Also, calls to the school district about the situation “were not immediately returned.”

According to the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, “10 percent of the 450 colleges it monitors have similar free speech zones.” In 1960, this became a way to control campus protests. Campuses wanted to give students the ability to practice protest rights as long as it was on school grounds.

This year, student protesting has increased since the election of President Donald Trump. Before, it was harmless but as Trump climbed the political ladder, protesting went to the extreme. In some cases, it became very violent among our fellow Americans.

Other schools want to influence students to express their opinions in any part of the campus without the risk of academic punishment. According to The Denver Post, Colorado campuses will eliminate restrictions on free speech zones soon. On March 20, “the Colorado House of Representatives voted to ban so-called ‘free speech zones'” as they have been “used to confine public demonstrations to designated areas.”

According to The Red & Black, the University of Georgia at Athens wants to expand their free speech zones. Kenton Law is a freshman at Lilburn University, and he believes “free speech is more than a political theory,” and “it’s personal.” The law’s main goal was the removal of a campus priest after he constantly labeled students “‘sinners’ and ‘whores.'”

Since we have the freedom of speech, should we try to use it wisely? I understand some schools’ concerns with allowing students to speak their minds in public. Sometimes, it may take a turn for the worst. But this is what we all need to watch out for. Being able to speak up is a privilege, but taking advantage of it is what gets people in trouble. I cannot speak for the people who may try to provoke you to act out, and you are the only one responsible for your actions. I do recommend speaking with your voice, not with violence.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Bethany Wallace

Bethany Wallace

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1 Comment

  1. Thisgenerationhasnocriticalthinkingskills
    Thisgenerationhasnocriticalthinkingskills April 11, 09:56

    Universities have “free speech zones” so students can express their political opinions without the risk of punishment or government involvement. Taking away a student’s free speech zone will only cause students to rebel. It’s so students can have the necessary protection from the public.

    Ummm are you a college student? It terrifies me you think this is an accurate statement. FYI: Your First Amendment protects you from the “risk of punishment or government involvement” not a free speech zone. Please learn your rights.

    “Being able to speak up” is a RIGHT sweetie, not a privilege. C’mon now.

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