Speech Codes

Topics: Hate speech, Freedom of speech, Censorship Pages: 3 (794 words) Published: December 1, 2012
What speech does the first amendment protect on college campuses? By definition, a speech code is any rule or regulation that limits, restricts, or bans speech beyond the strict legal limitations upon freedom of speech or press found in the legal definitions of harassment, slander, libel, and fighting words (First Amendment). There is not one real speech code that all public college campuses follow. The first amendment includes freedom of speech, but does not limit any speech codes on college campuses. The first amendment states that students have the freedom of speech unless there is "substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others". (First Amendment). The speech that is protected under the first amendment is very vague especially considering schools and campuses. Finding a set standard for what the speech codes for college campuses should be easier than it is now; there should be a set definition that lays out rules for speech on campuses. The first amendment states that only if a person’s speech has substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others it may be censored. Most people take that how it is supposed to be taken. If you actually read the law, it is easy to see that many things have been overlooked. In the past five years, the number of hate crimes that have been reported to the FBI has increased by 3,743. Hatred on campuses is most often directed at minority groups that are easily identifiable by their clothing, skin color, body shape, intelligence, sexuality, or behavior. It is the duty of the government to stop hate crime because such speech can emotionally harm the person attacked. The counterpoint to that is that the government’s primary job is to protect citizens’ rights. By censoring speech, a clear attack has been made on the freedom of speech of American’s. Because actual violence and physical harm are illegal, making the speech version of violence illegal would bring about many...
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