I’m pleased to have come across this thoughtful piece I just read on The Atlantic website: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/the-glaring-evidence-that-free-speech-is-threatened-on-campus/471825/
The writer Conor Friedersdorf verifies the threat being waged against free speech principles on college campuses and the chilling effect it’s having on both students and professors.
My favorite part of the college experience was participating in robust free speech. In college and law school, I loved debating my fellow students and professors inside and outside the classroom. These debates taught me so much. By listening to counterpoints to my views, I improved my public policy positions and even changed a few when I realized the weakness in my arguments.
Throughout our society, too many people fail to understand the doctrine of freedom of speech. It’s always meant to be a two-way street. You say what you think and I can respond with counterpoints. The backbone of a free society is a marketplace of ideas with a full and substantive debate on the issues we face. Freedom of speech certainly doesn’t mean that you speak and no one can disagree with you.
The college students that want campuses to be “safe zones” and administrators enforcing speech codes apparently fail to appreciate the tremendous value of free and open debate in the college environment – or maybe this is just another example of politically correct extremism practiced by zealots who don’t support the doctrine of free speech and seek to block the expression of ideas they disagree with.
Do you have a child attending college soon? If yes, visit the website of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, where you can review the free speech ratings for most colleges in our country.Jim Maisano Jim@FreeVoter.com
(Jim serves as a Westchester County Legislator in New York)