Bullying Free Speech

Posted by Brian
Anti-bullying laws and the erosion of campus expression
Harvey Silverglate

Injustice Department

Few American institutions best the Congress in the destructive practice of turning a human tragedy into an assault on liberty. Exhibit A is the ongoing effort to ratchet up anti-bullying measures on campus—with potentially dire consequences for campus free speech.

Last fall, Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took his life after discovering that two students had surreptitiously spied on his dorm room sexual encounter with a male, streaming video of it online. In response, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) and Rep. Rush Holt (D., N.J.) have authored a bill—dubbed “The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act”—that aims to prevent future incidents of collegiate “bullying” by dramatically expanding the scope of existing anti-harassment regulations. First introduced in November during the last Congress’ lame-duck session, Representative Holt stated this week that the bill will be reintroduced in the new Congress.

Even if well-intentioned, this proposed legislation is deeply flawed: Its restrictions are redundant, frustratingly vague, and dangerously broad. If enacted, the law would further erode college students’ speech rights, a foundational tenet of liberal education.  READ MORE HERE--->

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