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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Beware the bias police

Universities are creating “Bias Response Teams” to investigate offensive speech, reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Forty-two percent of these teams include police officers.

“Bias” is defined very broadly, writes Robby Soave in Reason. It may include “hateful speech impugning gender, race, political belief, religion, disability status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” The University of Kentucky protects “smoker status,”while “body shape” is protected at the University of Northern Colorado.

A poster at a University of Oregon cafeteria asking students to clean up after themselves was reported as “sexist” to the Bias Response Team, he writes. “The poster presumably said something like, your mother isn’t here to do your dishes for you.

The desire to creative a supportive climate for students doesn’t justify “a surveillance state on campus where students and faculty must guard their every utterance for fear of being reported to and investigated by the administration,” concludes FIRE.

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