Texas Strikes a Blow to “Free” Speech From the Chains of the Campus Culture

Speech free speech diversity

Speech codes, hate speech, compelled speech (preferred pronouns), free speech zones, are all tools the left uses to control the language. College Campuses are ground zero for this nonsense, but Texas isn’t having it.

Governor Abbott just signed a law designed to invite debate and expressive behavior (free speech) on college campuses. Abbott admits in his signing statement that he shouldn’t need to do this. We know why he does.

What does SB18 accomplish and does New Hampshire need this? To answer the second question first, yes! The “why” is the answer to question one.

The bill prohibits free speech zones in public campus spaces. It prohibits permitting requirements to hand out flyers in public areas. It requires colleges to create and communicate a policy in support of free speech that includes disciplinary sanctions for students, student organizations, or faculty who unduly interfere with the expressive activities of others on campus. They need to write a policy, make it conspicuous,  and educate their students on it.

An institution of higher education may not take action against a student organization or deny the organization any benefit generally available to other student organizations at the institution on the basis of a political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic viewpoint expressed by the organization or of any expressive activities of the organization.

Decisions about speech must be content and viewpoint neutral, and colleges may not claim a speaker is “controversial” as justification for denying permission to speak on campus.

There’s more there including plenty of protection for teachers, classrooms, allowing the university to limit times when public expression can occur in outdoor public spaces (say, not after 11 pm or before 6 am, as an example). SB18 is not some free speech free-for-all. It respects agreeable limits with the expectation that these apply to everyone all the time and do not favor one viewpoint over any other.

Sure, it should not be necessary, but with universities committed to cranking out anti-speech snowflakes, we can’t rely on punishments like the one dealt to Oberlin to keep their totalitarian proclivities in check.

Students need to learn to respect speech with which they disagree. To listen and formulate persuasive arguments for and against instead of the current “finger-in-the-ears” la-la-la, I disagree, so you’re a fascist, racist hater.

Sorry, that would be you. But we’d be happy to welcome you back from the edge. And Texas is trying to help make that happen.