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Free speech 101: What students need to know about their rights

Conservative Review

College campuses across America have become hotbeds of free speech repression in recent years. Tyranny guised and justified via arbitrary security fees, infringements upon student speech, and bans on opinions and speakers in the name of political correctness are ubiquitous.

Esquire Casey Mattox, director of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Academic Freedom, spoke with CR at CPAC 2017 to discuss the problems surrounding he war on conscience rights on college campuses — particularly what they mean for our society, and what students can do to make sure their First Amendment liberties are protected.

One of the biggest problems surrounding the issue, Mattox said, is that many college students don’t even know their most fundamental rights to begin with:

It turns out, he says, that just six percent of American colleges have policies that adequately adhere to the First Amendment.

So, what should liberty-minded students know? More importantly, what sort of things should they look out for?

And when you have rampant conscience rights abuses on campus — the one remaining supposed “marketplace of ideas” — what effect (if any) does that have on students and society as a whole?

Ultimately, Casey Mattox told CR, since so few colleges adequately respect conscience rights, most students have to start with the assumption that their school is violating their rights.

That doesn’t bode well for a free society. In effect, the onerous top-down control gives “future teachers, judges, and lawyers” the impression that “there are some government officials who aren’t bound by the First Amendment,” Esq. Mattox said.

“Our universities are preparing people for a life and government, in which the government has a deep and abiding interest in nearly everything that private individuals are doing,” he says. “That sets a very bad precedent, I think, for our future.”

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