Limiting Free Speech Bans It
You may have seen anti-abortion displays similar to that which Students for Life planned to erect on Miami University’s Hamilton, Ohio, campus earlier this year. They feature a number of crosses, with signs explaining each one represents a baby aborted during a specified amount of time.
Students for Life members had used such “cemetery of innocents” displays on the campus previously. But this year, university officials changed the rules. They said the crosses could be set up only if the student group also posted signs throughout the campus with a “trigger warning” that, according to a published report, “urged people not to view” the display.
Seeing it might cause “emotional trauma” for some people, university officials explained.
Well, yes. That is the idea — to prompt people to stop and really think about abortion.
Now, attorneys representing the Alliance Defending Freedom are suing the university on behalf of the students, insisting the institution violated students free speech rights.
Insisting that those erecting the display also post signs urging people not to view it clearly does violate the First Amendment.
University officials clearly understood that before restricting the student group’s free speech rights. It will not surprise you that now, they insist it was all just a misunderstanding. “If mistakes were made, they will be addressed,” they added in a statement last week.
What else could they say — after being caught red-handed, attempting to enforce political correctness?
Unfortunately, the attitude of at least some Miami University officials reflects similar philosophies at many institutions of higher learning. Certain ideologies can be promoted, but some must be suppressed. Students’ tender sensibilities must be protected, even though serious discussion of many issues may cause “emotional trauma.”
On too many campuses, higher education has been replaced by propagandizing. Intellectual rigor is allowed only when it will not challenge liberal orthodoxy.
One wonders whether the politically correct crowd understands that their demand, of limited free speech, represents a contradiction in terms.
Of course they do.