The state of Florida passed new legislation reaffirming first amendment rights on college campuses. The new rules ban so called “free speech zones” on college campuses that limit free speech to specific areas. They also allow protesters to sue schools which violate their first amendment rights.
“The Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018 passed Monday in the House and Senate by votes of 84-28 and 33-5, respectively,” the Washington Times reported.
“Attempting to limit the First Amendment rights of students by tucking them into the hidden corners of campus is not only unconstitutional but goes against the very concept of what a college education should be about.”
The bill did allow campuses to make some restrictions on free speech where necessary.
“Outdoor areas of campus are considered traditional public forums for individuals, organizations and guest speakers,” the bill read. “A public institution of higher education may create and enforce restrictions that are reasonable and content-neutral on time, place, and manner of expression and that are narrowly tailored to a significant institutional interest. Restrictions must be clear and published and must and provide for ample alternative means of expression.”
Many critics of Islamist extremism are under attack by far-left extremists who want to silence discussion of the issue by accusing critics of hate speech. For example in 2017, Dennis Prager launched a lawsuit against Google accusing them of silencing Prager U’s videos due to their conservative leanings.
The first amendment guarantees the right to free speech, the right to free assembly and the right of religious freedom.