August 26, 2012

Here we go again?

Darren tips me off to this FIRE article about ... the University of Delaware:

NEWARK, Del., August 10, 2012—In violation of its legal and moral obligation to protect students' First Amendment rights, the University of Delaware (UD) has adopted a prohibition on "bullying" that subjects students to punishment for constitutionally protected speech, including "teasing" or "ridiculing" other students.

"No one likes bullying, but most conduct that could be called bullying on the college level is already illegal. This policy goes much too far by prohibiting constitutionally protected speech," said Samantha Harris, Director of Speech Code Research for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The policy, which FIRE has named "Speech Code of the Month" for August 2012, defines "bullying" as "[a]ny deliberately hurtful behavior, usually repeated over time, with the desired outcome of frightening, intimidating, excluding or degrading a person." Examples of bullying include "teasing," "ridiculing," and "spreading of rumors." The broad wording of this policy makes it highly vulnerable to abuse, with the potential to silence a great deal of protected speech such as parody and satire (which often ridicule their targets) and political speech.

As FIRE notes, doesn't UD ever learn?


Posted by Hube at August 26, 2012 04:30 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

This so-called "anti-bullying" and "hate speech" laws are pathetic. I mean, it's basically outlawing free speech, kind of like in countries that don't have the First Amendment. You speak your mind and you get punished.

Posted by: Carl at August 27, 2012 02:21 PM