Inside Higher Ed
November 24, 2010
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is raising concerns about legislation proposed in Congress and passed by legislators (but awaiting the governor's signature) in New Jersey that would require colleges to have policies to bar cyber-bullying, among other forms of harassment. The federal and state proposals are named for Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who killed himself after images of his encounter with a man were allegedly broadcast. See Full Story: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/24/qt#244315
'Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act' Threatens Free Speech on Campus
November 23, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, November 23, 2010—An "anti-bullying" bill introduced in Congress last week gravely threatens free speech on America's college campuses. Despite the bill's admirable intention of preventing future tragedies, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has determined that the bill is at odds with the Supreme Court's carefully crafted definition of harassment and would require colleges to violate the First Amendment.
"Tyler Clementi was subjected to an unconscionable violation of privacy, but that conduct was already criminal and prohibited by every college in America," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "For decades, colleges have used vague, broad harassment codes to silence even the most innocuous speech on campus. The proposed law requires universities to police even more student speech under a hopelessly vague standard that will be a disaster for open debate and discourse on campus. And all this in response to student behavior that was already illegal."
See Full Statement: http://www.thefire.org/article/12501.html