Major Victory for Free Speech on College Campuses

Barb Wire

By Jennifer Burke

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe may be a far-left progressive democrat, but he made a move that may surprise some people. With colleges around the country restricting the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, McAuliffe signed a bill into law on Friday that protects free speech of college students on Virginia campuses.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published a press release on Monday on this banning of unconstitutional campus ‘free speech’ zones:

On Friday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a bill into law effectively designating outdoor areas on the Commonwealth’s public college campuses as public forums, where student speech is subject only to reasonable, content- and viewpoint-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions. Under this new law, college students at Virginia’s public universities will not be limited to expressing themselves in tiny “free speech zones” or subject to unreasonable registration requirements.

HB 258, championed by its lead patron Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly unanimously. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) urged the passage of the bill and testified on behalf of the legislation in hearings in both legislative houses.

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Restricting student speech to tiny “free speech zones” diminishes the quality of debate and discussion on campus by preventing expression from reaching its target audience. Often, institutions that maintain these restrictive policies also employ burdensome permitting schemes that require students to obtain administrative permission days or even weeks before being allowed to speak their minds. Even worse, many of these policies grant campus administrators unfettered discretion to deny applications based on the viewpoint or content of the speakers’ intended message.

Read more: TPNN.com

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