School speech policy finally lines up with court rulings

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

A watchdog group looking out for the free speech rights of college and university students says it's good news that the University of Wisconsin finally revised its unconstitutional harassment policy.

Azhar Majeed of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says it's frustrating to see schools get these types of policies wrong all the time when the Supreme Court has already provided a clear answer.

Majeed

“The precedent for resolving these disputes was given in a case going back to 1999, called Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education,” Majeed tells OneNewsNow. “And so the standard for that case balances the need to prevent harassment with the need to protect free speech." 

He says the school’s former policy not only went against the 1999 Supreme Court decision, it also contradicted a federal court decision dating back to 1991.

“The federal court in the 1991 case struck down the policy on its base, declared the policy to be unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds,” he explains. “So you couldn’t possibly have a clearer precedent against this policy than that decision.”

Majeed says there is still much to be done with policies at individual Wisconsin universities, but this is a good first step.

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