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ICYMI: Protection of Speech Is Essential to a Free Society

Mar 30, 2018 by AFP

College and university campuses have taken a wrong turn regarding free speech. Many campuses around the country, include several in Minnesota, limit their students’ free speech to small “zones” on campus. Outside these zones, students are to keep their ideas and opinions to themselves, lest they offend someone who disagrees with them.

In a recent op-ed, AFP Minnesota’s Jason Flohrs points out that both students and administrations are to blame for this disturbing trend:

A survey by the Brookings Institution found a majority of college students believe it is acceptable for a group of students to “loudly and repeatedly shout” to prevent a speaker from being heard. Nearly 20 percent of students said it was acceptable to use “violence to prevent the speaker from speaking.”

But these students’ aversion to free speech doesn’t come from nowhere. Often campus policies and administrators work hard to ensure that views they find offensive are kept off campus.

The answer to speech we disagree with is intelligent debate in an open forum, not silencing the opposition. Luckily for Minnesota, lawmakers are introducing legislation to protect the free speech rights of students, even for those whose speech is “controversial.”

Learn more about protecting free speech in Flohrs’s op-ed!