Freedom of expression is at risk at colleges and universities across the country. While campus administrators employ a number of strategies to censor speech they disfavor, this piece explores the trend of justifying censorship and punishment of expression by labeling it a “threat” and citing concerns about safety. In contrast to the kind of speech the Supreme Court has defined as a “true threat,” the expression at issue in the cases discussed here poses no safety risk, comprising political commentary, jokes, and pop culture references. Its punishment both trivializes actual dangers and chills campus discourse. Accordingly, it is imperative that students, professors, and free speech advocates work to re- verse this trend and ensure institutions’ adherence to longstanding free speech principles.
Censorship by Crying Wolf: Misclassifying Student Speech as Threats,
71 U. Miami L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol71/iss2/7