A new report from a nonprofit educational foundation shows that
three-fifths of colleges in the U.S. still seriously restrict free
speech. But there is some good news.
Samantha Harris of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
(FIRE) explains that her group looked at more than 400 schools and
found that 62.1 percent have anti-free-speech policies. She tells
OneNewsNow more about what they surveyed at the schools and covered
in the report.
"We also see a lot of Internet usage policies that contain
impermissible restrictions on speech, as well as policies regarding
student demonstrations and protests," Harris notes. "We also look
at policies governing the residence halls and governing student
organizations -- what they can post, if they can distribute
literature on campus. So, there's a wide variety of policies that
we look at."
Even though there is still a prevalence of restrictive free
speech codes, Harris says the good news is the situation continues
to get better each year.
"It's actually been going down every year for the last five
years or so, which is really great," she submits. "I mean, five
years ago, 75 percent of schools had what we call red-light speech
codes; this year was just over 62 percent. So, 62 percent is still
unacceptably high, but certainly a lot better than 75 percent."
The full report is available at FIRE's website.
Analysts say better retention policies are needed to stop the
trend that's kicking nearly 50 percent of educators who begin
teaching careers out of the profession within five years.