Free speech on campus pushed by Nebraska legislature

Washington Free Beacon:
A bill introduced Wednesday in the Nebraska state legislature would require the University of Nebraska Board of Regents to guarantee free speech on campus and institute regulations to that effect.

The regents would be required to "develop, adopt, and promulgate a policy governing free expression within its campuses," under the Higher Education Free Speech Accountability Act.

The board would be expected to attest that "it is not the proper role" of administrators to "shield" students from First Amendment-protected speech, and proclaim the NU system defends speech "without limitation" on views "unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive."

However, "protest and demonstrations that materially and substantially infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity" would be banned, and sanctions applied to students or staff who engage in "unlawful" expressive activity, according to the bill. Disciplinary action for disruptions would have to progressively increase for repeat offenders.

The board would also be charged with creating a nine-member Committee on Free Expression, consisting of three regents, three faculty, and three students, to produce an annual public report on any disruptive incidents that took place and what disciplinary action was taken against the offenders.

Republican State Senator Steve Halloran introduced the bill after becoming concerned about the state of free speech for right-wing U. Nebraska students when video footage emerged in the fall of a student being harassed and berated by university staff while promoting her conservative club.

"We [the state legislature] give a large sum of money to the university," Halloran told the Washington Free Beacon in a phone call. "We have the task of making sure they are accountable and transparent."

He shot down suggestions that the suggested guidelines on regulating protests could have a chilling effect on expression, saying that, in his bill, "everybody's freedom of speech must be protected, regardless of political persuasion, whether it be student or teacher."
This law could be a model for restoring free speech rights on campus and doing away with the nonsensical "safe spaces" for snowflakes who can't handle dissenting opinions.  In recent years left-wing faculty and administrators have teamed up with left-wing students to deny free speech rights to conservatives.  That has to end. 


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