Majority of colleges restrict free speech on campus, says report

Lauren Williams's picture

A majority of colleges have rules in place severely restricting free speech on campus, according to a new report released Friday.

The 2014 report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found 59 percent of higher education institutions have policies that the group believes infringe on First Amendment rights.

The report reviewed policies regarding speech in student codes of conduct at 427 colleges and universities around the country. In addition to the 59 percent identified as restricting free speech, FIRE issued a "yellow light" rating to another 35.6 percent of schools because they have "policies that overregulate speech on campus."

But FIRE pointed out the situation is actually a substantial improvement from six years ago, when the organization said three-fourths of colleges were violating constitutional free speech rights.

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