As those of you who read my blog yesterday know, Eugene invited me to be a guest contributor to The Volokh Conspiracy this week in order to discuss some of the issues raised in my recently released book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.
Yesterday, I described the negative impact that suppressing speech on campus has on our greater society. I also promised to give some shocking examples of censorship. So before we get into the legal issues that these cases raise, let’s take a moment to examine the state of free speech on campus.
Over the last decade, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) has fought against so many acts of censorship that we decided to put together a short video that highlights some of our most egregious and bizarre cases:
The video features:
- Hayden Barnes, a student from Valdosta State University who was expelled for peacefully protesting the proposed construction of a parking garage.
- Keith John Sampson, a student in Indiana found guilty of racial harassment for publicly reading a book.
- The University of Delaware, a public college that developed a program of thought reform to serve as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs.
- Andre Massena, a student at Binghamton University (formerly SUNY-Binghamton) who faced suspension or expulsion for challenging the Department of Social Work.
- KC Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College and author of a book about the Duke Lacrosse case who was threatened with a possible investigation after publicly criticizing the School of Education for what he perceived to be indoctrination and viewpoint discrimination by members of the faculty.