Illinois College Threatens ‘Disciplinary’ Proceedings for ‘offensive language

How come liberals are always so anxious to take away our Constitutional rights? And who the offensive language? 

by Katherine Timpf

July 25, 2017 3:59 PM @KatTimpf

Students will effectively lose their First Amendment rights under this policy. Carl Sandburg College in Illinois may put students through “disciplinary proceedings” for using “offensive language” or “disparaging comments” — a policy that some argue exposes the college to First Amendment lawsuits.

According to an article in Campus Reform, the college’s Student Code of Conduct allows administrators to “initiate disciplinary proceedings against” any student who “is verbally abusive; threatens; uses offensive language; intimidates; engages in bullying, cyber bullying, or hazing; [or] uses hate speech, disparaging comments, epithets, or slurs which create a hostile environment.”

Sam Harris, vice president of policy research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), told Campus Reform that the school’s status “as a public institution” would make it “highly vulnerable to a First Amendment lawsuit” over a policy like this.

“A public school certainly cannot punish students for any and all ‘offensive language’ or ‘disparaging comments,’ nor is ‘hate speech’ a legally cognizable category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment,” Harris told Campus Reform. He added that “while some speech that is offensive or hateful may also constitute threats, harassment, etc., and for that reason be unprotected, most offensive [or] hateful speech is wholly protected by the First Amendment.”

College spokesman Aaron Frey, however, defended the policy to Campus Reform, insisting that officials at the college fully realize that “being open to differing perspectives and opinions is an integral part of the educational experience and growth of students.” But the administration simply “also find[s] it important that those ideas are exchanged in a manner that is respectful and free of speech that may be deemed abusive or hateful in order to maintain a welcoming environment for our students.”


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