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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Doubleplus Ungood Crimethink

How can anyone in America think this is a good idea, or even that it would pass legal muster?

Students at Carl Sandburg College could now be subject to “disciplinary proceedings” for the use of “offensive language” or “hate speech.” According to the Illinois community college’s Student Code of Conduct, administrators “may initiate disciplinary proceedings against” a student who “is verbally abusive; threatens; uses offensive language; intimidates; engages in bullying, cyber bullying, or hazing; [or] uses hate speech, disparaging comments, epithets, or slurs which create a hostile environment.”

“As a public institution, it is highly vulnerable to a First Amendment lawsuit.” In addition, the Code of Conduct allows school officials to punish any student who “initiates or participates in incidents of bias and hate crimes.” Sam Harris, vice president of policy research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), told Campus Reform that the restrictive policy would earn the school FIRE’s notorious red light rating, which is reserved for institutions with “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

Disparaging comments?  Hate speech?  I’d love to be on the committee defining those.

If higher education wants to destroy itself, it could scarcely do a better job than it’s currently doing.

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