Today Most College Students Censor Themselves
Repression of Speech on Campuses Has Now Become Internalized by Students
Indeed, even years ago, some law professors stopped even teaching about rape in their criminal law courses out of this fear, reports public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who also notes that almost 20% of students claim that it's OK to stop a speaker, a view especially prevalent at Ivy League schools.
It's gotten so bad that one law professor, who is female and a feminist, was even told not to use the word "violated" in her classes - even in sentences such as "the law violated the Constitution"
So universities - which are supposed to be bastions of free speech, and the place where the free speech movement started - have become places where students feel it necessary to censor themselves out of fear of reactions by other students.
Sadly, says Banzhaf, this climate of repression is fostered and encouraged by the universities themselves which often punish both students and faculty for even the smallest speech transgressions.
He cites two situations on his own campus where he fought back and won.
In the first, a student was suspended and almost expelled for very briefly displaying a ancient religious symbol revered by millions which another student initially mistook for a Nazi swastika.
In another, a student was forced to take down a Palestinian flag which he hung, like some many other students hang different flags, from his dorm window.
Prof Banzhaf notes that President Trump's executive order was supposed to protect free speech on campus by cutting off federal funding for institutions which violate it.
But it seems to have had little impact; in large part because students - unlike the hundreds of date-rape complaints filed under Title IX - do not seem to be filing any free-speech-
JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
"The Man Behind The Ban on Cigarette Commercials"
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Creator of the "Banzhaf Index"
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH),
2000 H Street, NW, Wash, DC 20052, USA
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