Understanding the Protections and Limits of the First Amendment or Free Expression On College Campuses amid the COVID-19 Disruption
Topic Understanding the Protections and Limits of the First Amendment or Free Expression on College Campuses amid the COVID-19 Disruption
This paper is an opportunity to engage in Socratic Reasoning: Examine assumptions about what freedom of speech really means, as well as to deepen an understanding of the current accepted interpretation of speech rights under the First Amendment. The paper should reinforce the robustness of the First Amendment protections of speech.
Higher education is struggling to balance the demand by some students to be protected from offensive speech while guaranteeing freedom of speech to others.
Policy Question: Should colleges be able to prohibit controversial or “offensive” public speakers from speaking on campus?
Constitutional Question: Does the First Amendment protect the speech rights of controversial or “offensive” public speakers on college campuses? Does the First Amendment treat government-run colleges (public colleges) differently than private colleges?
Policy Question: Discussing other questions of freedom of speech on college campuses. Should Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces and Microaggressions be allowed on college campuses?
Constitutional Question. Why is it difficult for scholars, judges and lawmakers to balance robust (strong) speech protections with the necessity of maintaining a peaceful society? Provide evidence
Inclusion and free speech on campuses are complementary concepts and non-negotiable rights. Both are important to a democracy. Tolerance for different viewpoints is a challenge not only on college campuses but also in our national political discourses. The future of democracy requires us to understand what’s happening and why.
How concerned should schools be about violence and student safety when managing efforts around campus inclusion, civility, free speech and political correctness? Are microaggressions on campus and now on-line harmful? Can schools devise hate-speech policies that are also First Amendment-friendly?
.doc file | Essay | 8 pages, Double spaced
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