Teaching Free Speech in America

Teaching Free Speech in America

With the endless platitudes spoken about K-12 public schools and universities teaching “critical thinking”, and the leftist demands for “net neutrality” in the media, I am not surprised to see the sustained assault on free speech by a Christian student at a school that accepts federally guaranteed student loans.  In fact, the only school in America that I am aware of that does not receive any taxpayer-supported student financing is the well insulated, and thus totally free Hillsdale College.

It seems Georgia’s Gwinnett College now has to defend itself against an assault on free speech by a Christian student accused of “disorderly conduct”.  The student has filed a 76-page lawsuit against 11 named college officials for censoring his 1st amendment right.  “The First Amendment guarantees every student’s freedom of speech and religion. Every public school – and especially a state college that is supposed to be the ‘marketplace of ideas’ – has the duty to protect and promote those freedoms,” said ADF legal counsel Travis Barham, representing student Chike Uzuegbunam in the matter.  (WND, 12-22-2016)

This event raises the issue of what we are teaching our children and young adults about what critical thinking is, and the right to communicate it.  I advocate that if a college, university or organization receives federal, state or local taxpayer money, they are bound by strict adherence to the US & State Constitutions.  If the organization runs afoul of the provision of the 1st Amendment, their ability to collect tuition guaranteed by the taxpayer should be placed in jeopardy.  If a school can’t abide by the terms of our Constitution, then it needs to stand on its own, like Hillsdale.  Interestingly, Hillsdale has a commitment to encourage Constitutional recognition, including free speech.  What a great model for teaching that first fight, free speech.

Should the people who made this decision be held personally and severally liable for interfering with the student’s right?  I think so until people understand that each person has a right to speak, we need to see consequences for choices they make.

Read more about the event that spurred this missive at http://www.wnd.com/2016/12/disorderly-conduct-college-sued-for-censoring-christian/#OKaomOEd1qBGGIRv.99

 

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