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Govt Finally Targeting Campus Free Speech Violations
Complaints Could Transform Campuses Like Title IX Date-Rape Ones Did
Complaints filed under President Trump's new free speech executive order could have the same transformative if not revolutionary effect at colleges and universities as complaints related to date rape, filed under Title IX policies, had on how higher education handles matters of sexual assault, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose proposals for dealing with such problems have been adopted by the Department of Education.
UCLA is being actively investigated because it reportedly "improperly and abusively targeted" an instructor who used a word some students found offensive in reading, during class, from Martin Luther King Jr's famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
Professors at other schools have faced discipline for using the N-word in reading from books and other important documents, for using the word "niggardly" which has nothing to do with race, and in a recent case for using a Chinese word in a scholarly classroom discussion which only sounded something like the N-word.
Under Executive Oder 13864, public institutions of higher education face a loss of federal funding if they chill free speech in violation of the Constitution, whereas private ones face the same fate if they violate their own free speech policies.
Unfortunately, such events have occurred at dozens if not hundreds of colleges over just the past several years, and many resulted in court decisions which establish the violation. So all could be the victims if students or faculty file a complaint over the incidents - something which can be done anonymously - and request a federal investigation.
Just as Title IX complaints led to hundreds of federal investigations and revolutionized how colleges and universities deal with alleged sexual misconduct including date rapes, complaints under this executive order have the potential to force institutions of higher education to stop stifling free speech by disciplining students for remarks or even just words influential groups object to, so-called micro-aggressions, failing to use the proper gender pronouns, or sometimes even for expressing ideas which are outside the mainstream, predicts Banzhaf.