Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Speech Codes and Other PC Nonsense At Universities

For many, the topic of political correctness feels oddly dated, like a debate over the best Nirvana album. There is a popular perception that P.C. was a battle fought and won in the 1990s. Campus P.C. was a hot new thing in the late 1980s and early ’90s, but by now the media have come to accept it as a more or less harmless, if unfortunate, byproduct of higher education.

But it is not harmless. With so many examples of censorship and administrative bullying, a generation of students is getting four years of dangerously wrongheaded lessons about both their own rights and the importance of respecting the rights of others...

Yet FIRE has determined that 71 percent of the 375 top colleges still have policies that severely restrict speech. And the problem isn’t limited to campuses that are constitutionally bound to respect free expression. The overwhelming majority of universities, public and private, promise incoming students and professors academic freedom and free speech. When such schools turn around and attempt to limit those students’ and instructors’ speech, they reveal themselves as hypocrites, susceptible not only to rightful public ridicule but also to lawsuits based on their violations of contractual promises.

Can you believe the above? Well, it was written by Greg Lukianoff. And who is he?

Greg Lukianoff (greg@thefire.org) is the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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