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Does Free Speech exist on College Campuses?

Updated on November 21, 2016

Freedom of speech is guaranteed in the 1st amendment to our Constitution but yet those in charge of college campuses seem to ignore this right. Recent reports of preventing individuals who have been invited to speak are being denied entrance to their campus which restricts the right of these individuals to exercise this right. It does not or should not make a difference whether a campus is a public or private institution it is about respecting the Constitution.

Students go to college in many cases to get an education in the area of their interest. In some cases there are groups of individuals who want to hear specific speakers on topics of interest to them. While in the latest case the individual was able to give his presentation to individuals it should not have been necessary to locate another facility to hear what this individual had to say.

College administrative personnel should not and do not have the right to pick and choose who students can invite to speak to them. It appears personal views got in the way in making this kind of decision. The incident cited above appears to not be an isolated case as campuses across the country appear to have the same philosophy and this kind of action is a violation of freedom of expression granted under the Constitution.

Our educational institutions have become not a place of learning but of indoctrination to only allow individuals with certain philosophical principles the right to speak on campus. This violates not only the right of the individual who wishes to speak but it violates the rights of individuals who invite individuals they want to hear. Colleges need to be open to allow all points of views to be heard not limit student choices or opinions.

Our education institutions across the country are part of the greatest if not the greatest education system in the world. Does it have problems the answer is yes? Can they be fixed again the answer is yes? In addition to those who administer college campuses there are also those who teach who appear to have the same philosophy as the administrators. It has been reported whether true or not certain professors/instructors do not allow points of view which are contrary to their philosophy in their classrooms. Learning is about understanding different points of view on the same issues. Our education system at all levels should be about allowing students to ask questions about what is being taught.

Another problem which is part of our education system is the content of textbooks being published which distorts or purposely leaves out certain bits of information making the topic unreliable according to my research and in some cases media reports. Our country has had a rich history and in some cases has been through difficult situations but it does not mean that the facts should be changed to be politically correct. The future of our country depends on students who will be the leaders of tomorrow to know the true facts of our historical events so they can be better leaders tomorrow.

Students should be able to ask questions about how our country began and why certain things happened not just accept what is being taught. It is understood there are great individuals who care about teaching the future leaders of our country and want to provide accurate information to allow students to form their own opinions. In other cases there are those who do not allow students to question their instructors/teachers about what they are teaching and is a violation of what our education system is about.

One of the fundamental principles of our country is our individual right to free speech. As mentioned above colleges should embrace freedom of expression not impede it. The leaders of tomorrow will face many difficult decisions and they should have the experience of considering all points of view. Part of this or a large majority of this experience should be part of any college teaching. In other cases it is about life’s experiences. Our education system needs to get their act together regarding freedom of expression and honoring the Constitution in all subjects.


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