Thursday, April 06, 2006

Speech codes choke off discourse, satire

A Louisiana State University Law student has written a excellent analysis the "free speech" problem at Universities.

Higher-education institutions are no longer havens for free intellectual discussion and open debate. Since public universities have lost nearly every court battle over clearly identified speech codes, administrators have developed stealthier ways to regulate unwanted speech. These covert speech codes are hidden in university handbooks under seemingly harmless provisions such as e-mail guidelines, diversity statements and harassment policies. Even though these policies aren’t identified as “speech codes,” university administrators are still able to use them to repress unpopular opinions, censor parodies, hinder political speech and restrict academic freedom.

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